This involves the neighborhood I grew up in, and where my parents still live. Its a small exurb of NYC. The development my parents live in is about 200 houses at the base of a steep hill. In the past 5 ~ 10 years, there has been extensive development at the top of the hill: destroying acres of forest and cutting into the steep hillside for more housing.
The result has been increased flooding to the houses at the base of the development. In discussions with my parents, I know that most or all of the houses near my parents have had french drains and/or sump pumps installed. Many have had to do extensive renovations due to new flooding.
For it's part, the town has attempted to install storm drains on some properties, and in select locations on the road at the base of the hill. However, reports from neighbors, and a simple walk around the block, reveals shoddy work. In some cases, the storm drains are 5 inches above ground level, negating any water management benefits.
I know my parents and all of their immediate neighbors have spent thousands of dollars on storm damage repair, water proofing, landscaping, and more, as a result of the new flooding. It would be extremely difficult for anyone to sell, as many yards, my parents included, now have a near-permanent water feature on their property.
The increase in flooding could easily be proven with documentation of repairs done over time, and it corresponds pretty directly to deforestation done at the top of the hill. More recent documentation has been via Facebook, as neighbors have gotten together to share stories.
Does the town have any responsibility towards the direct and indirect damage done to these properties? What can be done to hold the town responsible for potentially lost property value, and direct property damage?