San Pablo residents still fearful of landslide 3 years later

Three years after a landslide occurred in San Pablo the fight is still ongoing over who should foot the bill.
February 17, 2014 6:45:59 PM PST
Three years ago, a hill in a San Pablo neighborhood gave way and damaged several homes.

It's a fight over who should foot the bill to fix the hill. The city and a group of homeowners each say the other is responsible for the repair.

This tarp-covered hill along Hillcrest Road is still unstable, three years after the landslide.

"It kind of happened suddenly where it impacted the neighbors. It could have been a gradual slide, but we were impacted pretty immediately," said Lance Thompson, a homeowner.

Three homes were evacuated after the 2011 slide and are still vacant. City officials say the hill is on private property, so the homeowners should have to pay to fix it, but the homeowners recently uncovered a drainage system approved by the city in the 1950s. They say it's damaged and has been allowing water collect under the hill.

"It's damaged. It's not draining correctly. It encroaches on private property. It was never disclosed by the city to any of the private citizens from any documentation that we can find. The city isn't even acknowledging that the system exists," said Joe Romey, a homeowner. "I am asserting that this is what caused the problem. This is what caused the landslide."

The city of San Pablo won't comment on the claims because of a lawsuit filed by the homeowners. After the landslide, the city proclaimed a local emergency, but never received any financial help from the state or federal government.

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