Our (mostly Laurel's) appeal of the Nielsen lot partitioning in Spring Lake Estates continues to take its twists and turns, but the road is inexorably coming closer to its end. Some time back Laurel testified at a hearing where Denny Nielsen and his hydrologist-for-hire, Nick Coffey, presented their (weak) case for overruling the Hearing Officer's initial denial of the lot partitioning. The Marion County Commissioners decided to remand the decision back to the Hearings Officer, so several issues were revisited, such as the number and cause of well deepenings/replacements in the area, and the rate at which groundwater is being recharged from rainfall--given the geology around here.
After the hearing, Laurel wrote up her response to Coffey's grasping-at-straws arguments, with a little help from me. Then Coffey and Nielsen got to have the last word, they being the applicants and having the burden of proof. Yesterday Laurel went to pick up a copy of what they turned in to the Hearings Officer, and was surprised to find that she is being accused of practicing geology without a license. Actually, we consider this Coffey complaint to be a pretty nice compliment, since it shows that she is competent enough in hydrogeology matters to be confused with a real geologist.
It's amazing what desperate lot partitioners will do when they don't have any factual legs to stand on. Coffey couldn't refute Laurel's facts, so he had to try to deny her right to say them. That's pathetic. If anybody shouldn't be practicing geology, it is Nick Coffey--a point that Laurel wasn't shy about making at the hearing. Stay tuned for the next episode in this hydrogeology soap opera, which we hope is a continued denial of the partitioning.