Valley Woman Wants Refund after Driveway Permit Denied

4 years 4 months 6 days ago Wednesday, May 10 2017 May 10, 2017 May 10, 2017 5:36 PM May 10, 2017 in News

BROWNSVILLE – A Cameron County woman is looking for answers after she spent thousands of dollars in drainage piping.

Brownsville resident Helinda Vargas said her driveway usually floods during the rainy season. She said the water gets so high she isn’t able to get to home or out into the street.

She wanted to get ready for hurricane season so she applied for a permit from the county to build a new driveway.

“When it rains, it floods all the way up to the tree. I got this permit because the men working told me how I could get this permit so I could make another exit. They advised me to go to this address to get the permit,” she said.

After her driveway permit was approved, Vargas learned she would need pipes to drain the water under her new driveway.

She spent nearly $500 to install them.  

Vargas said the county later notified her they were denying her permit. She said she was not given a reason.

She said she’s called the county but has received no explanation.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to several departments in the county to find out why she was denied her permit.

Cameron County administrator David Garcia said the first permit was a mistake.

“I believe that there was a mistake made by not going out and looking where this driveway permit was going to be granted,” he said.

County workers went to survey the property and said the permit should not be granted. The zoning rules for Vargas’ subdivision doesn’t allow resident to have two driveways or an exit driveway through the back of their property.

Garcia said the county will look into returning the money she paid for the concrete pipes.

“We can try to help her in seeing how we can resolve the matter with her pipes, but I would have to take that to the commissioner’s court and talk to our legal department to see how we can try to maybe buy back the pipe or reimburse her,” he said.

Garcia also said he plans to send engineers to Vargas’ property to see if they can fix her flooding issue.

Vargas said she hopes the problem is fixed before hurricane season arrives. 

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