PREMIER LAND PARTNERS, LLC
10701 Cloverbrooke Drive
Potomac, MD 20854
May 25, 2018
Amberleigh Homeowner’s Association
Attn: Lisa Puma
Re: Initial Site Visit to Review Potential Erosional Areas
As Premier Land Partners LLC (PLP) was recently retained by the Amberleigh Homeowner’s Association to assess the nature of, and recommended solution to, an erosional condition behind 6632 Briarleigh Way, as well as any other erosional conditions or other site issues we detected, we made our initial visit to the site on May 4, 2018. During the site visit we focused our efforts on the areas along the lower (western) portions of the site adjacent to Briarleigh Way, Rockleigh Way and Greenleigh Lane, as these are the portions of the property we looked at previously, have the greatest topographic relief, are adjacent to existing trees and thus present the highest potential for erosion problems. We did conduct a cursory inspection of some other areas of the property (uphill from, and east of, the areas previously referenced), but did not note any substantial problems there. Here is a summary of our finding from this site visit along with our recommendations concerning corrective action, listed by number with each item referencing the specific location of the issue, including supporting photographs:
1. Areas adjacent to 6636 – 6640 Briarleigh Way:
Behind 6636 – 6640 Briarleigh Way, immediately behind the fences at the rear property lines of the units, and along the fence on the left side of 6640 Briarleigh Way, the ground is not stabilized and presents the potential for future erosion (please see Photos 1, 2 and 4, below). *Note: The area behind 6636 – 6640 Briarleigh Way was previously graded and stabilized with sod by a contractor working on behalf of the HOA in May 2017 and rip rap was placed at the location where this area drains down into the woods. The rip rap itself is still in good condition, as can be seen by Photo 3, below. It appears that there is a substantial amount of foot traffic through these two areas, which has worn down and largely killed most of the sod that was placed in May 2017. The area is not currently eroding, so immediate attention to this is not absolutely necessary but we believe that eventually this will become an erosional problem again. It would be our recommendation to re-grade both areas and place #2 stone throughout
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the unstabilized areas. If sod were to be placed here again, it would likely not survive due to the foot traffic. When placing the #2 stone, care should be taken to place it (and level and compact it) in a manner so as to provide a level, safe and reasonable place for people to walk.
Photo 1 – Area along the back of 6640 Briarleigh Way, looking east
Photo 2 – Area along the back of 6638 – 6636 Briarleigh Way, looking east
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Photo 3 – Existing rip rap where swale enters woods, adjacent to 6640 Briarleigh Way
Photo 4 – Area along the left side of 6640 Briarleigh Way
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2. Area Behind 6626 – 6628 Briarleigh Way:
There is an erosional rill behind 6628 Briarleigh Way, extending uphill to the rear of 6626 Briarleigh Way (please see Photos 5 & 6, below). In order to avoid further and more extensive erosion in this area, we recommend that some minor re-grading be done (to flatten out the drainage swale) and the area be stabilized with sod (and the sod pinned).
Photo 5 – Erosion rill behind 6626 Briarleigh Way
Photo 6 – View of erosion rill, from behind 6628 Briarleigh Way
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3. Area Behind 6614 – 6616 Briarleigh Way:
This area, as shown on Photo 7, below, is eroding but is not creating deep rills as some of the other areas of the site are. However, it could become more of an erosive problem in the future so we wanted to bring it to the attention of the HOA. Due to the shade and the presence of tree roots, it will likely be difficult to get grass to grow here. Thus, we would recommend that the area be re-graded to define a swale, further away from the back of the fence, and #2 stone be placed within the swale to prevent further erosion. As noted previously, care should be taken to place (and compact) the stone so as to provide a level, safe and reasonable place for people to walk.
Photo 7 – Area behind 6614 – 6616 Briarleigh Way
4. Area Behind 6612 Briarleigh Way:
The utility box (likely for cable television) behind this unit is missing its lid (please see Photo 8, below). This should be replaced, or at least covered over, as soon as possible to avoid personal injury and/or liability to the HOA. Since the time this photograph was taken, someone (a homeowner, likely) has temporarily covered the utility box with some boards, but this is not a viable long-term solution.
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Photo 8 – Utility box missing lid behind 6612 Briarleigh Way
5. Area Behind 6612 – 6610 Briarleigh Way:
A small erosional rill exists behind 6612 – 6610 Briarleigh Way (please see Photo 9, below). There are no deep rills present, so the HOA may choose not to do any corrective work here now but it could become more of an issue in the future. In order to avoid further and more extensive erosion in this area, we recommend that some minor re-grading be done (to flatten out the drainage swale) and the area be stabilized with sod (and the sod pinned).
Photo 9 – Area Behind 6612 – 6610 Briarleigh Way
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6. Area Behind 6606 – 6608 Briarleigh Way:
An area behind 6606 – 6608 Briarleigh Way that carries runoff through the area is not fully stabilized and an erosion rill is just starting to form (please see Photo 10, below). We recommend that some minor re-grading be done (to flatten out and better define the drainage swale) and the area be stabilized with sod (and the sod pinned).
Photo 10 – Rill forming behind 6606 – 6608 Briarleigh Way
7. Areas adjacent to the right side of 6610 Briarleigh Way:
There are several issues in this area. Adjacent to the sidewalk to the right of 6610 Briarleigh Way there is a low area (please see Photo 11, below). The sidewalk should be backfilled with soil and stabilized with sod (with the sod pinned) so it does not cause injury to pedestrians (as the current situation presents a potential liability to the HOA). The slope below the sidewalk in this same area is not currently stabilized and presents the potential for erosion in the future (please see Photo 13, below). We recommend that the slope be stabilized with sod (and the sod pinned) or, at a minimum, seed and an erosion blanket (curlex or similar product). Finally, there is a large area immediately to the right of 6610 Briarleigh that is barren, with no stand of grass (please see Photo 12, below). This area is not actively eroding so it is essentially a cosmetic issue, but nevertheless we wanted to bring it to the attention of the HOA.
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Photo 11 – Low area adjacent to sidewalk, right side of 6610 Briarleigh Way
Photo 12 – Bare area, right side of 6610 Briarleigh Way
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Photo 13 – Slope below sidewalk, right side of 6610 Briarleigh Way
8. Area adjacent to left rear corner of 6639 Briarleigh Way:
At the left rear corner of 6639 Briarleigh Way, there is active erosion on the slope near the corner of the fence and a communications cable (either telephone of CATV) is exposed (please see Photo 14, below). The washout area should be regraded, the utility cable covered and the area stabilized with sod (with the sod being pinned) to prevent further erosion and protect the utility line.
Photo 14 – Eroded area, left rear corner of 6639 Briarleigh Way
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9. Area Behind 6616 Rockleigh Way:
There is a low spot behind 6616 Rockleigh Way that is no doubt holding water (please see Photo 15, below). It is our recommendation that this low area be backfilled with dirt, the surrounding swale (uphill and downhill) be graded in such a way to promote positive drainage through the area and all disturbed areas stabilized with sod (and pinned).
Photo 15 – Low spot behind 6616 Rockleigh Way
10. Area along right side of 6618 Rockleigh Way:
In the area to the right of 6618 Rockleigh Way, the existing swale is not stabilized and is beginning to erode (please see Photo 16, below). This is not yet a critical problem, but will likely become one over time. Due to the shaded conditions and the trees nearby, it will likely be difficult to get an adequate stand of grass here, so our recommendation (should the HOA decide to address this condition now) would be to do some minor re-grading in the area (to better define the drainage swale) and place #2 stone uphill of the the rip rap (which exists just below the area shown in Photo 16) to the point where there is no further ongoing erosion. As noted previously, care should be taken to place (and compact) the stone so as to provide a level, safe and reasonable place for people to walk.
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Photo 16 – Area along right side of 6618 Rockleigh Way
11. Slope Behind 6624 – 6620 Rockleigh Way:
The slope behind these units is not stabilized and actively eroding (please see Photos 17 & 18, below). We recommend that this condition should be addressed soon, as the erosion is very active, will get much worse if not corrected, and the eroding soils are collecting at the bottom of the slope (as shown in Photo 19). Given the presence of numerous tree roots through this area, we recommend that a minimum of 4”- 6” of topsoil be placed on the slope (in all actively-eroding areas) and sod be installed over this (and pinned down). As noted elsewhere in this report, any sod installed during this time of year will require extensive and frequent watering in order for it to take root and survive, so we suggest this work be delayed until the fall (at least September and ideally in October).
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Photo 17 – Slope Behind 6624 – 6620 Rockleigh Way
Photo 18 – Slope Behind 6624 – 6620 Rockleigh Way
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Photo 19 – Area along bottom of slope Behind 6624 – 6620 Rockleigh Way
12. Area Behind 6630 – 6638 Rockleigh Way:
The area directly behind these units is not stabilized, there is no defined swale (for drainage) and there is an erosional rill area behind 6638 Rockleigh Way (please see Photos 20 & 21, below). In addition, the erosional condition continues downhill to the point where the swale enters the wooded area behind 6640 Rockleigh Way (please see Photo 22, below). Also, given the lack of a defined swale, it appears this situation may cause water runoff (during a storm) to enter into the backyards of some of these units. We recommend that this entire area be re-graded to define a drainage swale (and this be located further away from the backs of the fences behind the units). Due to the presence of tree roots and shade, as well as likely pedestrian traffic, through the area it is unlikely that you will be able to establish a good stand of grass here. For that reason, we recommend placing #2 stone within the newly-defined/graded drainage swale and stabilizing all other disturbed areas. Where the drainage swale enters the woods (as shown on Photo 22), we recommend that some rip rap be placed in this location to avoid erosion within the wooded area.
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Photo 20 – Area behind 6630 – 6638 Rockleigh Way
Photo 21 – Eroded area behind 6638 Rockleigh Way
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Photo 22 – Area behind 6640 Rockleigh Way, where runoff enters the woods
13. Area at left rear corner of 6649 Rockleigh Way:
There is an eroded area where the water drains into the woods behind the left rear corner of 6649 Rockleigh Way (please see Photo 23, below). We recommend that the area shown in Photo 23, just uphill of the tree line, be re-graded slightly (to flatten out and better define the drainage swale) and the area stabilized with sod (and pinned) to prevent further erosion and sediment runoff into the woods.
Photo 23 – Area at left rear corner of 6649 Rockleigh Way
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14. Area Behind 6647 Rockleigh Way:
There is an exposed CATV cable in the area behind this unit (please see Photo 24, below). Although this is not a critical or dangerous condition, we recommend that the cable be buried and (ideally) the immediate area stabilized with grass in order to prevent the line from possibly being severed in the future and to avoid a possible tripping hazard for anyone walking through the area.
Photo 24 – Area at left rear corner of 6649 Rockleigh Way
15. Damaged Verizon box behind 6645 Rockleigh Way:
The cover for the existing Verizon utility box behind 6645 Rockleigh Way is damaged and not secured to its base (please see Photo 25, below). We recommend that the HOA contact Verizon and arrange to have the cover replaced, as the current condition presents a potential for personal injury and liability for the HOA.
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Photo 25 – Damaged Verizon box behind 6645 Rockleigh Way
16. Area Behind 6616 – 6620 Greenleigh Lane:
The area behind 6616 – 6620 Greenleigh Way is not stabilized and is actively eroding (please see Photos 26 & 27, below). To correct this condition, we recommend that the washed out areas be re-graded, a swale established and #2 stone be placed in the swale to prevent future erosion (due to the presence of tree roots and a lack of shade, we don’t believe sod is a viable option here). The swale should be located so drainage does not run right behind the existing fence (behind 6616 & 6618 Greenleigh), as is currently the case. In addition, behind 6618 Greenleigh Lane a bare communications line has been exposed (please see Photo 28, below). While work is being done to address the nearby erosion, this line should be buried and the area over it stabilized with sod.
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Photo 26 – Erosional area behind 6616 Greenleigh Lane, looking east
Photo 27 – Erosional area behind gap between 6616 & 6618 Greenleigh Lane, looking east
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Photo 28 – Area behind 6618 Greenleigh Lane, showing exposed communications cable
17. Area Behind 6622 – 6626 Greenleigh Lane:
This area, as shown in Photos 29 and 30, below, is beginning to form an erosion rill and will likely get much worse with time. Due to the shade and the presence of nearby trees/tree roots, it will likely be difficult to get grass to grow here. Thus, we would recommend that the area be re-graded to define a swale, that the swale be located further away from the back of the fence and #2 stone be placed within the swale to prevent further erosion.
Photo 29 – Area behind 6626 Greenleigh, looking uphill
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Photo 30 – Area behind 6624 Greenleigh, looking uphill
18. Area at Rear Left Corner Behind 6629 Greenleigh Lane:
The slope behind this end unit, at the left rear corner, is bare (please see Photo 31, below). This was noted on our previous report from 2017. The slope is not actively eroding and thus not a critical condition, but we felt compelled to point it out to the HOA as it may become an erosional area in the future. In the event the HOA does decide to address the condition now, we recommend that the slope be stabilized with sod (with the sod pinned).
Photo 31 – Slope behind 6629 Greenleigh Lane, left rear corner, looking east
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General note: With the hot summer months ahead, any new sod installed will require regular and frequent watering until stabilized or else it will die. Unless the situation is critical, it may be best to wait till fall to place any sod. As noted above, any sod placed on a slope or in a drainageway should be pinned down to avoid it being undermined or washed away. Finally, as previously noted any stone placed at the site should be installed, compacted and graded in such a manner so that it does not present a dangerous condition for anyone walking through the area.
Please let us know if you have any questions on our findings and, as part of our scope of work, once you have a contractor onboard to address some/all of these issues we will arrange to come by the site while the contractor is onsite to observe his work and then once again when all of the work has been completed.
Gregory C. May Principal