VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Homeowners in the Kings Forest Neighborhood of Virginia Beach are speaking out about an eroding creek that neither its owner nor the city will clean up.
Joe Wool and his soon-to-be wife Debbi Impervento bought their house in the Kings Forest neighborhood four years ago. A big portion of purchasing their home was because of the beautiful water views of Buchanan Creek.
However, the water views quickly changed.
"When we first moved in, there wasn't this mess as you see," said Wool.
Buchanan Creek is now littered with trees, muddied shallow water, and litter.
Homeowners said the creek hasn't been maintained. Years of sediment accumulated in the creek from stormwater runoff. As tree after a tree fell, Wool realized the creek has an erosion issue.
"Well we'll lose our land," said Wool. "We'll lose our land back here, it will continue to go down, the trees will continue to fall."
Wool and his neighbors want the trees cleaned up and the creek dredged. City records show the land is owned by Palms Properties, also known as Palms Associates, a Virginia Beach-based real estate management company.
Wool said Palms Associates at first agreed to clean up the trees, but then canceled last minute. He said the company now refuses to do anything with the creek.
"If I had a problem with my neighbor and they asked me to do something to alleviate whatever their problem is, I'd be glad to do it," said Wool. "I feel like I'm a good neighbor, or at least I try to be, and Palms has not been a good neighbor."
Wool said he and other neighbors reached out to the city for help but to no avail.
In a memo sent to City Council members by Deputy City Manager Tom Leahy, the city does not recommend taking action because no homes along the canal had flooding complaints and no homes reported flood damage so, therefore, the canal is "performing its stormwater function more than adequately. "
Leahy added that Public Works maintains the canal, and it has removed trees in the past. It plans on doing some snag and drag work next week.
Wool said he and his neighbors haven't seen any crews in the creek. They have resorted to slowly removing the trees themselves by sawing off branches.
"I'm concerned about a solution for this problem and working together the community, a private entity corporation, and the city to have a solution," said Wool.
However, the state waded into the issue. Delegate Jason Miyares (R) secured $500,000 in the state budget for the Department of Environmental Quality to conduct a study on the creek's deterioration.
"Well I think there's an environmental concern," said Miyares. "I also think that is one of the prettiest areas. We are defined as an area in Virginia by our waterways and anytime you have a combination of environmental concerns... it just caught my interest."
13NewsNow reached out to Palms Associates but the company did not return any emails or phone calls.
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