Article Courtesy of WKMG
Channel 6 ClickOrlando.com
By Louis Bolden
Published February 21, 2020
VOLUSIA COUNTY – A Volusia County couple said the retention pond behind
their home is creeping closer and closer, and they believe the clock is
ticking before it damages their property.
The view from Norman and Barbara Blodgett’s Florida room is picture-perfect,
except the view is getting too close for comfort.
“My wife and I have watched it just progress and the more it progresses, the
scarier it gets,” Norman Blodgett said.
Over the years, the strip of land separating his home from the retention
pond has gotten smaller and smaller.
“This could not have been how it was when we moved in,” he said.
They bought the home in 2004 and in 2009 started seeing changes.
Their homeowner’s insurance company hired an engineering firm to
“The north pond bank, south of the Blodgett residence, was unstable,” an
engineer wrote in the report.
The reason: “long-term erosion from currents, turbulence, and stormwater
runoff,” the report states.
“It just substantially keeps getting worse day-by-day,” Norman Blodgett
“If the erosion continues,” according to the report, “It could result in
catastrophic failure of the lanai structural elements.”
The report also confirmed the Blodgett’s biggest fear, “Having the Florida
room break off and end up in the retention pond,” Norman Blodgett said.
Norman Blodgett said he presented the findings to his Homeowners
Association, the HOA had plants installed along the shoreline and also bags
filled with pine needles which they hoped would stop the erosion.
Blodgett said it hasn’t.
“Most of the plants have washed out or died,” Blodgett said. “The pine
needle bags have not done anything.”
The HOA has not agreed to pay for a more permanent fix, according to
Legal analyst Steven Kramer said retention ponds are considered community
He said since the HOA owns the pond, the HOA could be responsible for
footing the bill to stop the erosion.
"This is not an uncommon occurrence," Kramer said. "That HOA has a duty to
maintain the fitness of that retention pond area to protect the adjoining
The attorney for the Jubilee Addition Homeowners Association, Damien
Richards, wrote in an email to News 6, "the HOA is following the guidance of
the St. John's Water Management District.
William Carlie, a now-retired compliance coordinator with St. Johns Water
Management District, wrote in a 2018 letter regarding a retention wall
“...we find no basis to require this action.”
He also wrote “the association bears any liability for its actions or lack
thereof,” according to the letter.
"We can’t sell because nobody wants to buy the problem here, so it’s
something that has to be taken care of," Blodgett said.
News 6 spoke with Allen Baggett, Environmental Resource Program Coordinator
with St John's Water Management District.
The district is not in the business of deciding who pays for what, according
The district said it is waiting for the HOA and the property owner to work
it out and the district will grant a permit for any corrective action.