I am a life long resident of Utah. Most who were born and raised here know not
to build or live on the fault line, or on the bench areas. One, earthquakes
should they come will destroy all homes there. Two, Utah foothills are known to
slide when they get saturated with water. I feel bad for what has happed but I
have to lay blame on those who purchase property without doing their research.
If you build on sand, you will eventually lose your home. Buyer beware!
Besides mudslides, fire always has worried me about these homes as well and then
often a fire contributes to mudslides later...
this entire area looks like one big land slide. How in the world did this
property get the ok for building permits in the first place? Don't the
contractors have to have some soil tests performed and other stability
requirements met before getting a permit to build? No home owner could possibly
know about these lots before building especially if the city gave the ok. It
seems to be some very BIG law suits are going to be filed against the
contractors as well as the city by the home owners.
Look at some of the problems in Salt Lake County, Utah County and others. Just
because others got by doesn't necessarily mean the next development will
be. Location with drainage type of soil, prior use, compaction, and erosion
potential. Some locations get by for a time, depending on rain or snowfall plus
land movement and additional stress on the land or rocks above. Money can by
happiness, land and rameumtum's problems. Truth in marketing is not just
the next sale. It also means buyer beware. Land developers may have that title
but doesn't mean they developed the land for physical changes. Maybe only
cosmetic looks. There is a reason the scriptures has that part in the Bible
about the location to build a house, even with the smaller houses and not with
engineering standards and measurements of today. It is a big impact on people
when they don't feel secure for themselves or family. Mother Nature has to
obey laws, also, and, gravity is one children learn early in life. Hydraulics
with water is a big player. .
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
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
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.
Not much sympathy expressed here is there.
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?
That's what happens when you build a house on sand.
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.
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.
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.
Anyone who grew up in NSL knows that the hillside is nothing but sand and
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.
Has anyone mentioned the fact that this area was a gravel pit in the 1990s?
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.
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I... and it will eventually crush my
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...
SKY Properties and NSL should prepare for a very, very big lawsuit...this is not
going to end well!
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!"
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.
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
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.