Septic issue studied
The Baldwin City Council on Monday night tabled an ordinance that would restrict the future installation of septic systems within the city limits, and home builder Michael C. Green hopes he and other builders can have some input in the matter.
"I was hoping to see the council table this," said Green, who developed Signal Oak Estates. "It came up real quick, and it seemed like no one was doing any investigation into it. I would like to have some input."
The issue will be discussed by the city's utility committee before returning to the council.
Last month, the council placed a moratorium on applications for future subdivisions, because the wastewater treatment plant is expected to reach capacity with the construction of about 200 more homes in approved subdivisions. The moratorium should be lifted by 2003, when an expansion of the treatment plant is completed.
Council member Ted Brecheisen Jr. said it also would be an appropriate time to consider eliminating the option of septic systems within the city limits. He said septic systems are often prone to problems and that structures within the city limits should be customers of the city's sewer system.
Green said he is not sure how either action would affect his plans to build three homes around a pond on property south of Signal Oak Estates. The homes would be on five to 10 acre lots and would have septic systems. Residences in Signal Oak Estates and also on Lawrence Street in west Baldwin have septic systems and are within the city limits.
Green said he has not heard of any problems with septic systems in Signal Oak, although Brecheisen said he has.
"I live out there, and no one has said anything to me," Green said.
Mayor Stan Krysztof agreed with Brecheisen.
"West Baldwin has problems. Signal Oak has problems. Every septic system area we have has had problems," Krysztof said.
Green said he has built 25-30 homes with septic systems without any problems. However, he would like to see the Signal Oak development eventually hooked up to the city sewer.
Council member Joe Salb said the city might want to consider establishing a way to regulate septic systems. As a developer, he said septic systems are low maintenance if they are put in correctly.
"I don't know if Baldwin wants to cut itself out of bigger subdivisions," said Salb, referring to the minimum lot size of three acres to have a septic system. "There ought to be someone who regulates this."
Krysztof recommended the issue be tabled, and offered his own suggestion. His three acres of land on Lawrence Street is half in the city and half in the county, and he does not want the city to accept that type of arrangement in the future.