Notes on man-made lakes and development by Dick Malmin
I managed to get a few pictures of the man-made “lake” in Indiana that Michael Ford and his lake engineer, Mark Landstrom, were talking about at the 10/19 Public Hearing. Landstrom said he’d been working on the project for 20 years, but despite [what] was implied, [neither] Mr. Ford nor his development company were the developers. The original developer was Davis Lasco who sold his interest in 2004 to Randy Minas, Ken Matney, and Anthony Meyers who went bankrupt a few years later.
This first picture is the “concept” illustration. The “Lake” is really a mile long channel with 750 homes. Couldn’t help but spot the lagoon which is like the one [people were] talking about on the Lake Hillmoor Development plans.
Concept Illustration of Doubletree Lake Estates
This next picture is from a real estate ad for one of the homes. The first thing that hit me was the landscape design—because there is none. It looks stark naked, barren and colorless.
Except for grass and water, it looks like mother nature had her tubes tied because there are no trees, bushes, plants, etc. Maybe there are other older areas that have landscaping, but everything I’ve seen looks sterile. The only trees I have been able to find are on the sign coming into the subdivision. It reads, Doubletree Lake Estates. Irony or a joke? You decide. Perhaps the lack of vegetation is their way to make sure there’s no organic matter to decompose in the lake, but is the sacrifice of nature worth it?
Notice that the advertising for the home says the lake is “spring fed.” Other ads by the HOA call it a fresh water, spring fed lake. New buyers will assume “spring fed” means it’s a natural lake, but we know it is a man-made lake that was dug-out back in 1994, so I’d like to know how springs miraculously sprung up. It was hollowed out over an aquifer, so is it possible they are continually drawing water from the aquifer and calling it “springs”? Then what do they do with the excess water? Also, there appears to be a continuous series of white plastic pipes that extend out into the lake at surface level. No way to tell if they are discharging pipes or sucking pipes or maybe both. Maybe those are the springs. In the sales contracts they talk about assessments to maintain a Deep Drain, so maybe that’s how the water is circulated.
Grass seems to cover every inch of the property that doesn’t already have a house, street or driveway on it. But the grass looks too perfect to be natural without having to use a lot of fertilizer and weed killer. Could it be artificial turf, or would the plastic turf leach more toxins into the lake than weed killer and fertilizer?
They say swimming and skiing “are permitted,” and they claim to have a boat launch so they must allow power boats. There are over 700 homes, so it’s impossible to believe everyone is entitled to have a conventional power boat spewing polluted exhaust and spilling out oil and gasoline. But again their sales contracts talk about a “Deep Drain” so maybe they can flush out those pollutants.
Another criticism I’ve seen on the blogs is that the homes around the lake are sinking. There’s nothing mentioned in their local newspapers about this problem, but the sales contracts talk about soil conditions not being the responsibility of the HOA, so I’ll have to go there to check it out.
I haven’t actually visited Doubletree yet, so I’ll [report] more info when I do.