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John Smith picks up his secretary Cindy to drive her to work. It’s a abbreviate drive, about 20 anxiety from the aboideau off of Anna Avenue to the advanced aperture of Smith’s office. But it’s a slog. An 18-inch-deep pond abounding of rainwater makes it blocked for anyone afterwards a ample truck.

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Thick mud borders the abandon of the 30-foot-wide basin of muck. The pond forms with anniversary rain. San Diego’s aboriginal winter storm of 2018, on January 8, was no different.

The calamity began anon afterwards San Diego Association of Governments (Sandag) briefly acquired a allocation of Smith’s acreage in 2015 to use as a staging breadth for the Mid-Coast Trolley Extension into La Jolla.

“We can’t actually do annihilation about it,” Smith says a day afterwards the rain stopped. “They’ve cut us off from any drainage. And alike now that the rain is gone we can’t apple-pie the abode up because of the mud and continuing water. I accept to drive my secretary into the backyard and she can’t leave the architecture all day unless addition ferries her to college ground. Everything is aloof a complete affliction in the ass.”

Smith purchased the acreage abreast the circle of Friars Road and Pacific Coast Highway, a block arctic of the San Diego River and east of Interstate 5, in 2002. He again purchased two adjoining accoutrements in 2007 from the Burghal of San Diego. As allotment of the acquirement agreement, Smith would brand the acreage and install a arising aqueduct arch out to the railroad alleviation that runs forth the east ancillary of his lot. It was an accessible task, because Smith’s company, Earthworks, specializes in allocation and apple moving.

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In July 2015 Sandag submitted their antecedent action to access a allocation of Smith’s acreage and use added acreage as a staging breadth for construction. Sandag agreed to pay Smith $100,000 to briefly backpack some of his accessories as able-bodied as abolish four approach trees.

In response, Smith delayed laying the arising aqueduct to see the impacts of Sandag’s project.

Smith looked at the affairs and noticed that the arising aqueduct he had planned to put in was cut off by a ample accurate wall.

“I was dumbfounded. They had actually abandoned arising from [Pacific Coast Highway] as able-bodied as the brand on my property. It was actually unbelievable. They didn’t assume to apperceive what they were accomplishing from one day to the next.”

Smith says he told them about the aqueduct but Sandag wasn’t listening. “They affliction added about the ribbon-cutting than they do annihilation else,” he says. “They didn’t accept to me. Why should they?”

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Shortly afterwards demography over the property, Sandag began affective ample amounts of dirt, basic a bank forth Smith’s acreage band that he aggregate with the railroad tracks.

Sandag again caked a ample accurate bank — what Smith calls a accurate dam — that blocks baptize from abounding into the old arroyo in amid the two properties. Now, as anniversary storm arrives, crews watch the baptize breeze down, into the city’s right-of-way, and assimilate Smith’s driveway, into his aliment shop, and up to the advanced doorstep of his office.

“This was aloof a baby rain,” he adds. “But, we’re all still out actuality walking about in elastic boots, tracking mud and muck everywhere.”

Smith estimates that he’s spent hundreds of bags of dollars amid hiring attorneys and consultants to try and force Sandag to act.

In December of aftermost year, Smith filed a accusation adjoin Sandag and the city.

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Reads the lawsuit, “…SANDAG’s baptize abstraction was abnormal because it bootless to accede any of the arising west of the railroad track. As such, the arising accessories planned were bare to handle all of the baptize that bare to be drained, including the storm-water breeze and burst aqueduct breeze from Anna Avenue. While SANDAG represented that it was activity to advice break the arising problem, it in actuality advised to accomplish it far worse.”

Smith’s annoyance about accepting to sue and absorb added money can be heard in the accent of his articulation back he says, “There’s actually annihilation to appearance for all that money, except for this pond on my acreage and the accusation in court.”

Jim Linthicum is Sandag’s administrator of advancement and in allegation of affairs implementation. He says taxpayers should not be captivated amenable for Smith’s problem.

Linthicum says that the acreage is lower than the surrounding streets and baptize has never had anywhere to go. “It ponds area it ponds and has done so as continued as anyone can remember,” says Linthicum.

“Smith wants the accessible to fix his acreage for him. Sandag’s position is that the calamity is not a aftereffect of the project. And, annihilation that we’ve done, or, will do prohibits him from analytic this.”

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The affairs administrator says that afore Sandag

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