Comments about ‘Four homes remain at risk in North Salt Lake landslide’

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Published: Tuesday, Aug. 5 2014 8:20 a.m. MDT

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Saint George, UT

Geologists from the state should also review the Geotechnical Report required before a development or subdivision is built. A thorough Geotech Report should have identified any hazards regarding unstable slopes in the area and the construct-ability of the properties.

Pleasant Grove, UT

A developer cannot build or even move any land around unless they have the okay from the city engineer. Soil samples are taken as well as a lot of other factors are considered before allowing them to build. Developers are not engineers, that is why the cities either contract with or hire a civil engineer to access flatlands to hillsides and determine if there should be building taking place. Here in Pleasant Grove, the city doesn't allow building to a certain point on the mountainside for a variety of reasons. Builders and owners have tried numerous times to press the city, but have not been allowed. Maybe answers need to come from NSL's planning and building department more than from the developer

Kearns, UT

Developers run this state. That's why the stupid proposal to move the state prison is moving forward at breakneck speed. They are salivating at the prospect of cheap land given to them by the legislature to make a ton of money for themselves. I'm a conservative and I feel this way something must be wrong with the proposal.

The developer of this land ought to be totally liable for any damage or loss.

Also building on the top or side of a mountain should be prohibited. Period. Just because someone wants to feel cool because their house is on the top of a mountain shouldn't be a reason to build.

Brigham City, UT

Every time I drive past Bountiful/NSL and see the mass of houses built on the side of the mountain, the only thing that pops into my brain is "Look at me, look at me!"

Bountiful, UT

SKY Properties and NSL should prepare for a very, very big lawsuit...this is not going to end well!

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

I had glanced at available homes in that neighborhood as well as at Traverse Mt. I'm scared by slides, there's no way to guarantee that you'll be OK up there, especially since most foothills here are sand/gravel. Put some water in that and you're ready for a slide. Add in an earthquake and you're done for. Even with inversion filth in the air I don't want to move up the hill...

Ogden, UT

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I... and it will eventually crush my house.

Cedar Hills, UT

I lived in Cedar Hills a few years back where the exact same thing happened. A mudslide took out an entire street of homes. The same question must be answered by the developer and the city who issued the building permit - why would homes be allowed to built here? A very steep slope above the homes is a prime worry for mud slides yet homes are built there regardless.

Pahrump, NV

Has anyone mentioned the fact that this area was a gravel pit in the 1990s?

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Not to sound insensitive but...

1. Who is allowing homes to be built there? Where's the city? Bought off?
2. Is anyone paying attention to the geological surveys? Are they even being conducted, like they are in other states? Or are we so paranoid with science and government that we aren't even performing geological surveys anymore?
3. I understand wanting a cool nice house. But is it really worth it? A little common sense could have gone a long way.
4. Why wouldn't you have insurance? That's just crazy. Even if it doesn't cover landslides. Refusing to have insurance is just playing with fire.
5. I smell a nasty lawsuit... Hopefully this serves as a reminder is to build and buy homes with common sense. Building a trophy for yourself isn't worth it.

Woods Cross, UT

Anyone who grew up in NSL knows that the hillside is nothing but sand and gravel.

Grandma Char
Kaysville, UT

I don't see any mention of whether or not there were people in the home at the time of the slide. I hope not.

Logan, UT

When building any structure, it's best to keep in mind that if it's above you, it will eventually come down. If it's below you, it will eventually wash away. The only question to answer is whether that could conceivably happen in the lifetime of whatever structure you are planning to build. If you're on a slope or near any water channel (wet or dry), it's going to be sooner rather than later.

Puyallup, WA

There are lots of houses in Bountiful/NSL that probably shouldn't nave been built there and most likely won't be there long term. After moving away several years ago I was shocked to drive up this new development and see how many houses were crammed in leading up to Bountiful Boulevard.

In nature what comes up will go down. The speed at which that happens depends on the slope, moisture in the soil and most importantly the stability of the underlying soil. I think a popular songs goes like this 'The wise men built his house upon the rock.'

I feel bad for the families that have been displaced as well as those whose property values just plummeted as a result of this slide.

Hank Jr
Draper, UT

That's what happens when you build a house on sand.

Eugene, OR

I remember seeing residential building begin further and further up the side of the mountains during the 80's. That was after the floods of the early 80's! I asked a builder friend of mine why they build up there because it was obvious that sooner or later their would be more rain and the mountains would move and slide. He said it had previously been zoned so that houses couldn't be build up there and that zoning had been changed so developers could build homes, even though they knew what would eventually happen!

Is it time to look into who changed the zoning and why the zoning was changed?

Provo, ut

Not much sympathy expressed here is there.

Nora Nell
Olympia, WA

I was up on the hill of beautiful "mansion" homes a few years back. I drooled and admired, but always in the back of my mind was what a brilliant engineer and scientist (Rocket Scientist) friend told me years ago. "Never EVER build or buy a home where the natural slope is more than 45 degrees, or even close to it"
My heart goes out to those effected, but others have said it. Sand & Gravel do not a secure foundation make.

Kaysville, UT

This is an interesting piece from the developer's letter below. It would appear the city and developers had something to gain in this corroboration. A Geologist told me it wasn't safe to build on the hillside from Centerville to Farmington since that lake line isn't there anymore since it sloughed, already. People like money, taxes, and a larger pool of beautiful homes that have hit rock bottom. Integrity should still be part of a developer's and city engineer's process.

"The slide that occurred this morning is on property that was originally a gravel pit used for the expansion of I-15 just prior to the 2002 Winter Olympics. The reclamation of this property was performed by the gravel pit operators prior to 1997. The area of the slide is largely owned by the city of North Salt Lake. Eaglepointe Development is a residential developer that has developed extensively in the area since 1999."

Medical Lake, Washington

It is easy here to point a finger at evil developers. I tend not to like to do that. However, some common sense should be used from time to time - as many have suggested here.

The temptation becomes increasingly large --- lots of land, potential for great views and with little persuasion, someone can be found who is willing to overlook geology, zoning restrictions and inevitability. I suspect that most communities, large and small, can point to a location where the need for financial success outweighed the need for thoughtful planning.

I hope that displaced families are not also suffering from the loss of life or limb. Lets show compassion before exercising a need to lecture.

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