Frustrated North Salt Lake residents in search of answers


Return To Article
  • mrjj69 bountiful, UT
    Aug. 9, 2014 1:10 a.m.

    i don't think taxpayer should be stuck with this. both the developers and homeowners new they were building on a hillside. there are some places homes should not be built.

  • AGF Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 8:26 a.m.

    Clearly terrorist activity: Tupac Amaru's revenge. Machu Picchu and other Incan cities of refuge were built on mountain tops and cliff sides, but always on rock. In Colonial Peru the poor lived on hillsides while the rich lived in valley bottoms. It is a remarkable coincidence that the Honorary Peruvian Consul of Utah's house should bite the dust, but when in Utah do as the Utahns do. They ought to know how and where to build houses. Machu Picchu still stands. Then again, modern wealthy Peruvians know better than to build on hillsides. The Consul should know better too--don't trust those incompetent Americans. --AGF

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 8:02 a.m.

    “For preparation, the best thing you can do is plan for yourself, no matter where you live.”
    Dwayne Baird

    And part of that preparation, way ahead of time was for me the home owner to do my homework and not just fell in love with the hill side and hill top (with a great view of the valley) location.

  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    Aug. 7, 2014 6:18 a.m.

    The government is no substitute for using common sense in protecting ourselves or our assets. There is too much money involoved which clouds the vision and impairs the judgment.Many of our dreams are built upon sand and gravel. Read the Sermon on the Mount or even the story of the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf (in this case the greedy real estate developer.

  • southmtnman Provo, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 4:12 p.m.

    When I buy a house, it comes with a warranty and certain guarantees that the house will meet minimum quality standards. If it doesn't, then the builder is liable and responsible for making it right at his own expense.

    The same goes for land. When a developer sells land, it comes with a warranty and guarantees.

    These lots need to be made right at the expense of the developer, pure and simple.

  • neece Logan, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 3:32 p.m.

    If you notice virtually everyone who commented here is saying the same thing. You build on a mountain, you cry that it came into your backyard, we the tax payers are paying for it. Does that pretty much sum it up? Apparently the wrong people are not listening.

  • lket Bluffdale, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 12:57 p.m.

    the libraries used to have geological maps of the valley of salt lake and what was under each area such as clay, or sand, or rock. i live in riverton a fairly stable area because of a hard clay foundation. look up where you live.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Aug. 6, 2014 12:51 p.m.

    The taxpayers will pay the bill. The developers will go scot free. That's the way it's done in Utah: Privatize the profits, socialize the costs.

    "The foolish man built his house in North Salt Lake, the foolish man built his house in North Salt Lake..."

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Aug. 6, 2014 12:47 p.m.

    I thought the statement was interesting when it was stated that engineers for both the city and developers found the area safe for building. Might the same engineers also take a vote and determine that foundations won't get wet in the middle of Lake Utah?

    Long time residents seemed well aware that building in such locations wasn't safe and they didn't need professionals to point that out. At some point, common sense really needs to be reinstated in the decision making process. Maybe I'm wrong, but the current strategy involved in many locations is: Built anyway, get in - get out with your money in hand and hope things hold up long enough for you to get out of town; oh yes, and make sure that someone else is slated to take the blame if plan A doesn't work out.

  • Reasonable Person Layton, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 10:48 a.m.

    Folks, the people who DID buy that home are the Peruvian Consul and his family. Obviously they did not know the history of the area and obviously, there was no one to guide them.

    They paid cash (no mortgage) so there were NO inspections or requirements.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 10:18 a.m.

    Let the lawyers sort it out. Don't use my tax money. I don't live next to the country club.
    All the engineers involved should have some sort of insurance if they can sign off on plans.
    I suppose the fine print indemnifies just about everyone. But a judge will determine if they can get away with it.
    Perhaps these folks who live up on the hill need to pitch in and get a good lawyer. (Hint: NO ONE ELSE is going to represent you well. Not the city. Not the developer. You need your own lawyer.)

  • neece Logan, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    Hello you build your house on a mountain then cry foul when the mountain falls. I think some common sense is needed.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    The story said that the development was at the maximum allowable slope limit, hence pushing the envelope or boundaries in order to maximize profit. Profit is not bad, only when the pursuit of it blinds you to other values.

    Cedar Hills had a case of shifting mountains, and there are others as well. Wait until Traverse Ridge "slumps" a little or a lot.

    Who is responsible? How about the home owners who bought the home trusting the agent and developer without doing some research him/herself. We write a shout a lot about personal liberty, rights and being left alone from governments intrusion. Well this is part of the risk, being responsible for your own decisions.

    I don't support shoddy developments, nor misleading sales people in the market but really folks, is it too much to ask the recently wealthy or wanna-be wealthy who are buying McMansion to do a little independent homework before you drop a bundle on a home?

    Proximity to shopping, schools, church and recreation should be augmented by a talk with a geological engineering firm, or some other professional who has a responsibility to look out for your interests because you purchase their advice.

  • Kora Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    I agree that the state should not be footing the bill for poor judgement on the parts of the city, home builder/developer, and home buyer. If you buy in that area, you should have appropriate insurance on your home. Just the same as the government should not subsidize flood insurance making it easier for people to buy in flood prone areas.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    John Charity Spring is right. The "answer" that everyone is looking for lies in the fact that the entire hillside is sand and gravel. The developer should be held responsible for building in such a place, and the city should also be held responsible for approving the permits.

    Though I agree the buyers here may not exactly be doing the proper due-dilligence, I feel that if the city and the developer tell me it's safe, I would believe them! (gravel pit below my house not withstanding)

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 9:06 a.m.

    I think I remember a big fuss from about twenty years ago when the Utah Geologic Survey published a map of geologic hazard areas in the state and were forced to pull it from distribution when the legislature was assailed by the developer lobby.

    I think -- if my memory is correct -- that it was finally released again a few years ago but they cannot advertise it. So it sits on shelves somewhere unless a prospective home buyer is savvy enough to ask about it.

    I just Googled and found that there is a Utah Geologic Survey website that provides information for each county. So I'm a little confused.

    Does anyone else have more information on the history of all this?

  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 8:58 a.m.

    It is interesting that until something goes wrong, everything is right. When it goes wrong then it is everyone else's fault and the taxpayers need to pay for the lack of due diligence on the part of those who should have been diligent in their choice of where they built their home. (I believe with a little work, that last sentence could have rhymed)

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    "North Salt Lake city officials Tuesday night declared a state of emergency in search of state relief money..."

    Why should taxpayers have to foot the bill? Let the wealthy (greedy?) developers and homeowners associations pay for it!

  • davidroy Flagstaff, AZ
    Aug. 6, 2014 8:13 a.m.

    People want a home with a view so they buy a house on a hill. There is always an inherent risk involved when doing so. All the studies done can only estimate the degree of possibility of something like this occurring. When the risk is deemed minimal by established standards, then development begins. But there is always that minimal risk. It's just a simple, geological fact. People that want to live in a forest have to be aware that a fire could someday consume their home. People that choose to live downstream from a dam should be aware that that dam could break and sweep away their home. Likewise, if you choose to live on a hillside, be aware that something like this can happen. It's not a new phenomena, it's happened many times over the years and is well documented. Before you decide to buy a home, know the terrain and assess the potential dangers. If you decide it's worth the risk's involved, go ahead and buy. The state can't protect us from all potential danger. We as individuals have to make reasoned decisions and accept the results.

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    I'd be scared to death if I lived in Centerville on 850 East between 100 South and Pages Lane... The only real difference in the lay of the land there is that no one is building directly above that location...yet.

  • bullet56 Olympia, WA
    Aug. 6, 2014 7:36 a.m.

    Here in Washington we had a catastrophic landslide that killed dozens of people. It too was a known slide area. The Home Builders Lobby, is to powerful for politicians to say NO to. As the most build able land is taken, we shall see more and more housing sold and built in marginal and dangerous areas of the environment.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 7:28 a.m.

    The real frustration here is that someone would buy a home built in a gravel pit and then claim surprise when the ground moves.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 7:26 a.m.

    Marxist makes another excellent point, about better management of land by those not in the pocket of local developers.

  • My house was stolen Roy , UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 6:43 a.m.

    These areas have been designated as slide areas for years. However with Utah's Caveat law on housing these developers are chiding politicians with their money and influence to allow building in these slide areas. This is corruption and it is the norm in this state.

  • Aggie5 Kuna, ID
    Aug. 6, 2014 6:41 a.m.

    Grandpa always said, don't build on the foothills. That ground isn't solid.

  • dwalk Albuquerque, NM
    Aug. 6, 2014 6:38 a.m.

    California mentality! Build on a mountain side, then wonder why things happen when nature changes. Build in a water shed or valley, then wonder why things happen when nature changes. Build in a forest, then wonder why things happen when nature changes. Wonder, wonder, wonder, but it is all someone else's fault.
    Face it, the buyer's desire for status and ego satisfaction exceeded the desire for due diligence at the time of purchase. Been there, done that myself.

  • financenco Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 6:31 a.m.

    I'm sorry. But when buying a home in the first place. There are some things to think about. The view might be nice, but don't build, or buy a home near top of a hill. It is only a matter of time, when Nature decides to redesign things. That means hills have ways of coming down. And another is don't build or buy a home, where there used to be a riverbed, or drainage area. Water will return.

  • CP Tooele, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 6:22 a.m.

    Unfortunately marxist is correct. I can see that happening in some places near where I live. The problem here isn't with landslides, but with water. City and county cry when there isn't enough water yet they don't put up the red light on developing. From what I see in the area pictured in this article it seems to be location of where these houses are built. And if it happened last year and again this year, guarantee it will happen again in future years. Sad but true. A house may look nice and the view is great but if it's built on unsteady foundation or where a lot of rainfall or other elements can take the house out, I say look else where for that dream home before it becomes your nightmare.

  • dragonswife Tremtpm, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 6:13 a.m.

    WHY do people insist on building HUGE homes on the mountainside. With as many homes that have slid down in the last twenty years, has no one learned anything? I will happily stay on the west side of the tracks in the flatlands...in my modest home. But at least we are still standing after a hundred years. We live in an unstable state due to earthquake faults, low water tables, etc. Yet people insist on building on shifting sands.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 11:44 p.m.

    Perhaps a little more history would be useful. Back in the 80's the developer came to the city of North Salt Lake, demanding to be annexed to North Salt Lake. The developer said that if North Salt Lake didn't annex his development he would take his marbles to Bountiful to be annexed by them, in essence encircling North Salt Lake. North Salt Lake meekly complied and has been the servant of the Smoots and other developers ever since.

    As a sidebar I'd like to point out the uses of a national forest boundary. The helter skelter development of North Salt Lake is in part due to there being no forest boundary east of the city. Farther north, where the national forest is present, development is more controlled (though far from ideal). Blessings on the forest service!

  • BJ61 South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 11:20 p.m.

    Residents who build in foothill areas that include steep grades, higher amounts of precipitation, and large man-made cuts for roads are jointly liable with cities and developers. Buyers need to exercise a degree of intelligence as well.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 9:23 p.m.

    I have lived in North Salt Lake since 1983. I have observed the city being a puppet for developers during that entire time. The developer commands, and the city obeys. And woe to any local politician who crosses the Smoot interests. But get on Smoot's good side, you can be elected forever.