By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
5 homes now yellow-tagged due to landslide
About two weeks ago, several Santa Clarita homeowners noticed their back yards began to break apart and slide downhill. Two homes on Terri Drive in American Beauty Classics were yellow-tagged, and several other homeowners in The Trestles were notified of the problem.
Then more rain poured into Canyon Country, making the landslide bigger and more dangerous. Three homes in The Trestles — the newer development on the downhill side of the slope — are now also yellow-tagged.
According to several reports, both GM Management and PMP Management have hired geologists to investigate the cause of the landslide, and come up with a plan to stabilize the hillside.
But investigation cannot begin until the rain stops falling. In the meantime, Landscape Development Inc., the HOAs’ contractror, has installed pumps, plastic tarps, and gravel on the slope, hoping to stop earth movement. The slope continues to move slowly downhill taking portions of the retaining wall with it.
History of landslides in Canyon Country
A bit of internet research reveals that, when American Beauty Classics was being graded for development in 1987, a landslide occurred in the vicinity of Terri Dr.
And in November 2015, nearby Vasquez Canyon Rd also buckled from a landslide following heavy rains.
So the question is, since Los Angeles County and the City of Santa Clarita knew about the history of landslides in the area, why did they permit development of The Trestles?
Over and over, IAC observes the same mistakes made by local governments — permitting construction of homes dangerously close to known hazards:
Homes built in flood plain reservoirs in Fort Bend County, Texas.
Massachusetts condos and affordable homes in Florida built on top of former landfills and garbage dumps.
Yes, sometimes scientists and engineers working for developers and regulatory agencies make lofty promises. They claim they can develop the land to make the site safe for construction. But history proves that, sometimes, it’s just not possible to eliminate serious threats to public health and safety.
Guess who pays when disasters happen?
HOAs pay for flood, landslide, and environmental damage to common property. But, of course, homeowners cover the cost with higher HOA assessments.
Private homeowners also pay for repair and replacement of their homes and personal property. Insurance probably won’t cover losses from landslides, earth movement, and mud flow.
And that doesn’t include preventable risks to life, health, and safety.
These situations often lead to lawsuits which drag on for years. But homeowners are almost never made whole in the end.
Local governments should ask themselves, is the increased tax revenue of development really worth the risks to constituents?
Impact Of Canyon Country Landslide Grows Larger As One Additional Home Receives ‘Yellow Tag’
Posted by: Devon Miller in Community News, Santa Clarita Latest News February 26, 2019 – 4:22 pm
A Canyon Country landslide between Terri Drive and Trestles Drive has displaced an additional family, totaling five homes which have received “yellow tags.”
Geologists are conducting a survey on the hillside to determine if the residents are able to return to their homes full-time, according to Carrie Lujan, spokesperson for the City of Santa Clarita.
“City staff are out their daily to monitor the slide,” said Lujan. “Everybody is working together to make sure the area is safe.”
Lujan added that the two homeowners associations on each side of the slide have contracted a team of geologists to survey the damage.
Five Yellow Tags, Two HOAs, One Landslide
There are two homeowners associations on both sides of the landslide: GM Management, which manages American Beauty Classics, and Property Management Professionals (PMP), which oversees The Trestles.
Five homes have received “yellow tags” as a result of the landslide, which means residents can only enter their homes during the day.
See dramatic video coverage of the serious landslide in Canyon Country from ABC7.
Rain causes concern for Canyon Country homeowners affected by large fissure around their property By Amy Powell, ABC7, Sunday, March 3rd, 2019 3:13AM
Weekend rain impacts local landslide
March 5, 2019 Brennon Dixson, The Signal, Santa Clarita Valley
Landslides Occur During Grading (1987 archive photos)
AMERICAN BEAUTY CLASSICS, VIA PRINCESSA AREA, (SCV History on SCVTV website)
Vasquez Canyon Road closed near Santa Clarita after landslide causes buckling
By VERONICA ROCHA, LA Tims, NOV 20, 2015 | 6:50 AM
HOA’s insurance ‘does not cover earth movement, mudslides’
March 2, 20195 Caleb Lunetta, The Signal, Santa Clarita Valley