LETTER- Water ordinance a washout

I'm glad that Richard Price was willing to admit that PS2 Properties had "made some mistakes... and had some erosion problems" in their creation of the RiverBluff "conservation community." [February 9: On Architecture: "RiverBluff: Green or slick marketing scheme?"]

It made me laugh, though, to read that he had "expressed [his] regrets to the City."

The City is no model to follow when it comes to keeping erosion under control. In December, a City crew washed loads of sediment into my stream by running a fire hydrant through their excavation site. More water main excavations sent mud flowing down 18th Street and Chesapeake.

Price would have apologized to the aptly named Department of Neighborhood Development Services anyway. Read that name again– Development Services?

Charlottesville's "Water Conservation Ordinance" was passed in August of 2004, and the Department was charged with enforcement. I spoke to City Council before that vote. I was concerned, from personal experience, that the Department did not have the expertise, competence, or motivation to enforce that ordinance. When questioned by Council, Jim Tolbert, the Department's director, essentially agreed.

RiverBluff caused far more damage than your article made apparent, but it isn't only Price who should be apologizing. The Department of Neighborhood Development Services, City Council, and the City Manager should be apologizing for their failures. Ignore their pretty pictures of the good the ordinance has done; reality is far different.

Louis Schultz