KIRKWOOD, Mo. — The City of Kirkwood is taking action after months of reports by 5 On Your Side.
The issue: homeowner complaints about flooding in their basements and driveways after a McMansion — defined as a large "mass-produced" home — gets built next door.
Mayor Tim Griffin told the I-Team the city has put together a new council sub-committee to deal with water runoff from McMansions and large homes.
Griffin said the council is comprised of engineers, the local building community and MSD representatives.
Their goal: find ways to mitigate water run-off on lots smaller than one acre.
A report on their findings is expected by late August.
But it's too little too late for some homeowners who've been dealing with water run-off from their neighbors for years.
"Lake Diane. This was lake Diane," said Diane Polacek, standing in front of her home on Cleveland Avenue. Polacek said her neighbors nicknamed the large pool of run-off water that would flood her driveway every time it rained.
Polacek has lived in her home for 40 years and says the flooding didn't start until a very large home was erected next door.
"They built this house up very high. The house here before was not this high," said Polacek.
Polacek claims that excess runoff water from that home also killed off her landscaping.
She said her calls to both the city of Kirkwood and Prestige builders got her nowhere.
"They said that it was just because I had a low spot in my driveway," said Polacek, who noted that her driveway never flooded in the decades before the home next door was built.
Fed up with the run-off, Polacek decided to use her fixed income to fix the problem.
"We're talking over three grand. There is a drain, it runs under the driveway and dumps into the drainage ditch," said Polacek.
And she's sending the bill to the city, and the builder.
"I know what these houses are all about. Tax money. I pay $3,400 in tax, this house probably at least $10,000," said Polacek.
Kirkwood Mayor Tim Griffin said the city will not be able to provide any financial assistance, and that he was not familiar with Polacek's circumstances.
Prestige Homes, which has built several large homes on smaller lots around Kirkwood, did not respond to our request for comment.
Ultimately, the thousands Polacek had to spend to fix the problem did buy her a dry driveway.