The whole backyard looks like this due to an entire commercial lot behind her that didn't properly prepare for run-off into neighboring properties. She's pursuing it with the county, and probably will get compensation from the company, which acknowledges she deserves it - but the point is, this shouldn't have happened in the first place (and certainly not multiple times, since last fall, with no compensation yet), and she shouldn't have to incur transactions costs or delay over this. It's killing her plants. Her backyard is basically made of red clay right now, and has been all spring. And she's trying to sell the house. She lives alone and isn't really able to do heavy yardwork in the heat (Kate and I live just a couple miles away so we can pitch in). You might not be able to tell, but this isn't just a little bit of water - it's doing damage to the yard at a really bad time for her, not to mention destroying the shed (not pictured).
And it's not just her - it's her neighbors too, and sediment is pouring into a storm drain that empties into the Chesapeake Bay.
Now, what is the more market-oriented solution? Pursue some sort of tort/legal route that ultimately only burdens her and hasn't been fruitful for months. Or, provide basic ground rules through emergent institutions like local governments in recognition that externalities are real and you've gotta anticipate this stuff and make sure contractors do things in a way that doesn't risk violating other peoples' rights?
Caste in America
4 hours ago