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Canyon Country landslide displaces residents; repairs underway

Repair efforts underway in Canyon Country after landslide puts homes in danger
Repair efforts underway in Canyon Country after landslide puts homes in danger 02:49

A landslide at a housing development in Canyon Country Sunday at about 2 p.m. had some homes in a new development yellow-tagged, forcing residents to stay elsewhere while damage was assessed.

A fence and concrete were buckled at the base of the landslide on Lambent Way in the new Skyline development. The homes most affected are on Plume Way, the street above Lambent.

About eight feet of the back yards of the houses on Plume Street slid down, according to a spokesperson for the city of Santa Clarita.

A city building inspector "yellow-tagged" six homes, allowing limited access, but indicating the buildings were not safe to inhabit. One of those residences was removed from that list through on Tuesday. 

Homeowners were allowed to grab belongings before they were evacuated.

L.A. County firefighters monitored the hillside Sunday night and said there were was no additional slippage, according to the city spokesperson.

The cause of the landslide was not immediately determined, and the hillside was being assessed Monday morning. It was unclear how long the properties would be yellow-tagged in the new housing development.

One homeowner told KCAL News plastic sheeting was placed over the hillside about two weeks ago when they received notice from the management company that there were some erosion problems.

No injuries were reported.

"We did have a lot of rain, so putting up the tarps, I don't know if it was to channel the water somewhere else, or what they were concerned about," said Greg Bleifer, a neighbor in the area. "I have no idea."

"It was interesting because the city supervisor was out here last night and he was red-tagging and yellow-tagging homes and he said that they knew nothing about any issues that we were having on that hillside until he was called out yesterday," said another neighbor, Stephanie Pfafman.

Repairs began as early as Tuesday morning, with land developers clarifying that it did not appear that any of the impacted homes were damaged during the incident. 

While crews work to shore up the hillside, residents continued to ask a bevy of questions including how and why this happened to them. Developers told them they may be able to return to their homes within six-to-eight weeks, barring any setbacks. 

The City of Santa Clarita says that since the land that the homes were built on is private land, they aren't required to inform the city unless permits were necessary, meaning they were completely unaware of the cracks first noticed by residents about a month ago. 

Tri Pointe Homes, the development company, said that reconstruction will be completed in two stages: 

  1. The installation of I-Beams, a six-week process to provide stability to the land,
  2. Placing caissons, or retaining structures, into the slope. 

The homes affected were built in the last two to three years, and construction is still underway in other parts of the development.

"Following California's series of heavy rains recently, a landslip occurred at the top of a slope along the rear yard fences of several homes in the Lyra neighborhood, on Sunday, February 5, 2023. The safety of homeowners is of the utmost importance. We are working with the impacted homeowners, including covering their costs for intermediary housing, while a remediation plan is being developed to stabilize and rebuild the slope," Tri Pointe Homes, the development company, said in a Monday statement.  "At this time, there does not appear to be issues on other slopes in the Skyline community. We will, however, continue to closely monitor the situation under the guidance of geotechnical experts."

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