$2.5 MILLION CLAIM FILED AGAINST THE CITY OF TWENTYNINE PALMS FOR WATER DAMAGE

$2.5 MILLION CLAIM FILED AGAINST THE CITY OF TWENTYNINE PALMS FOR WATER DAMAGE

A Twentynine Palms commercial property owner filed a claim for $2.5 million against the city, alleging the city caused water damage to his property. Minh Dang purchased the property at 5025 Adobe Road, a former miniature golf and go-cart attraction, for $70,000 in January of 2015. Dang is demanding the city pay him or fix damage caused by storm drainage from a pipe he claims the city installed, and remove the pipe. He is also demanding that the city not trespass onto his property. City Manager Frank Luckino said the flap with Dang started after city code enforcement cited him for having an abandoned vending machine on the property, and for weed abatement and abandoned vehicles. Luckino said Dang is also operating a business there without a business license or sign permit. The initial demand from Dang to the city occurred right after he was served with a 14-day notice of violation. Luckino told Z107.7 News that the storm drain in question was not installed by the city but was part of inherited county infrastructure. Luckino said that the general rule for federal water law is “It is illegal to change the pathway of the water; it can only be retained or slowed down.” Z107.7 News went to the property and found the storm drain in question collects water from the west side of Adobe Road and channels it under the road to the east at a natural low spot on Adobe Road that historically collects storm water to run east along the south property line. A neighboring business said Dang exacerbated the drainage problem himself by using a tractor to expand the existing runoff channel. Luckino said if Dang had done his due diligence when he purchased the property, he would have known it was a natural drainage area. Luckino said the city’s insurance pool will investigate the claim, and code enforcement can get a warrant to enter any property to ensure public safety.

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2 comments to $2.5 MILLION CLAIM FILED AGAINST THE CITY OF TWENTYNINE PALMS FOR WATER DAMAGE

  • alphadog

    Wow…. another person trying to rip off our town. Seems to be a never ending supply of people who are actually stupid enough to believe that they are above the law . Hope the City sues for and recovers their attorney fees and legal expenses when they win this case. Then the bad guy will be forced to sell his property to pay off the city and go back to whatever town he came from…. and hopefully never come back again.

  • dfg75

    The city of Twentynine Palms does not have a stormwater treatment system, or a sewage system. Sooner or later this was going to happen. When a natural surface is altered, all that rain water has to go somewhere. I wouldn’t be surprise if more people are going to sue after this. The city knew this was going to happen. They are so blinded by their “Phoenix” project, that roads are neglected, no sidewalks, dangerous intersections, miles and miles on Adobe road are not lit, and people are dodging cars going 70 mph to get to a bus stop. Funny how they call it a Phoenix project. Phoenix is the original name for flamingos and flamingos stick their heads in the sand, sifting through mud, for the tiniest morsels. Just like the city of Twentynine Palms’s Phoenix project, stuck in the sand for years and years.

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