Beacon Hill homeowners fear another landslide

by: David Ham Updated:

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SEATTLE - Homeowners who live above Martin Luther King Boulevard South in Beacon Hill are worried the ground underneath their homes is still shifting after a landslide in March.

"All that land is potentially going to move again," said Ed Kronenberger, who has lived in the area for 13 years.

He said after the landslide the water pipes connected to his house burst.

"There could be several houses that slide down the hill and there's no recourse because our insurance won’t pay for it because it's considered a natural catastrophe," Kroenberger said. "For months I would wake up every morning and say, 'Has my house slid?' It was very stressful. It's still stressful."

The city couldn't give one cause for the slide, but said heavy rains and this nearby construction below the houses have played into it.

"They were actually doing work outside of the scope that we approved. They were excavating at a lot steeper angle and have encountered some soil conditions that were not aware of," said Bryan Stevens, spokesperson for the Seattle Department of Planning and Development.

The city is requiring the developer to build a retention wall to hold up the hillside.

But neighbors are frustrated the city hasn't approved plans for the wall when the rainy season starts in October.

"It just makes me kind of crazy that the city cannot not do anything to make someone who’s done this wrong fix it  when other people's properties is at stake," said Kronenberger.

Neighbors said the land has shifted since the landslide, but the city said it hasn't heard of any reports of new ground moving.

Stevens said an inspector will be sent out to the landslide area.

The owners of the house that was condemned by the city on Morse Avenue South, have filed a lawsuit against the developer of the property, Rainier Vista North, LLC.

 The city has also fined the developer for cutting the side of the hill without permission.

 The developer did not return our call for comment.

 Stevens said the developer had submitted a design plan for a new retention wall but it has not been approved.

 "We hope they move quickly and we're going to stay in communication with them to make sure that happens," said Stevens.