My Yard is Disappearing

Dear Robin:

My husband and I bought our first house. It was built in a new subdivision and we moved in two years ago. Since we move in, 20 feet of our back yard has eroded into the creek. My husband doesn’t seem worried but should we be concerned? Sincerely, My Yard is Disappearing

Dear My Yard is Disappearing:

New subdivisions are planned by Civil Engineers for developers who originally own the property. The developers use those plans as a guide to layout streets, sewers, etc., and then builders or homeowners purchase lots within the subdivisions and develope on the lots. The developer typically is involved in creating the basic layout of lots and contours/elevations for the lots and sometimes is involved in the construction and development of changes that ensure that future erosion does not occur but that’s a complicated subject. If you have already witnessed 20 feet of your yard disappearing into the creek, then yes you should be concerned. An examination by a Civil – Geotech engineer would be prudent. The Engineer typically will be able to identify causes of the problem and whether they’re related to development design, lot design, construction involved in development or other causes, and then help with steps to correct the problem. Sometimes this involves designing a retaining wall or other means to keep the land from future erosion.

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