From:  "Bill Maurer" <>
To:  "Dan Jarvis" <>
10-Mar-2005 00:23
Subject:  Evacuees

Rumour has it that some evacuees which live right next to the slide will be forced to return home against their will in the next few days with little more than a comfort letter. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I am shocked that what is essentially a completely private process is being used to make these decisions. I was given the impression that you would be working with homeowners to resolve matters quickly. Now they are being told to get lawyers and sue the district if they don't like what's happening.

The property of Nancy Van Insberghe at 2430 Chapman Way should never have been developed. The slope above this property is identical in steepness to the Kuttner property. This home is also directly above homes on Chapman Way. These 2 homes (2430 and 2440) were released to a developer in 1980 after the last slide with an rs1 zoning. The developer subsequently wanted to subdivide the lots into 5 properties. After a public outcry the district did not approve the subdivision but allowed the developer to build 2 residences on the property without rezoning.

These homes interrupt a greenbelt called Canyon Creek Park which runs most of the way from Hyannis Point to Hogans Pools along the edge of the escarpment. Homes located midslope like this have a serious destabilization affect on the slope they sit on. The reason this greenbelt exists is because it was long ago determined to be unsafe to build on.

I'm sending this to you now so that you have an opportunity to react before this decision is made public. Here is a link to a contour map which shows the slide and the Insberghe and Kuttner properties with contours

What is the point of making homeowners hire their own lawyers to fight district lawyers. Doesn't that just cause conflict all around? It puts homeowners at a serious disadvantage when they have to personally fund something that district staff has at their direct disposal. Where's the mediation process here? Is an adversarial system the best use of tax dollars? There should be a way that these directly affected homeowners can directly question the geotechs which are the source of the decisions that their homes are now safe to return to and to have input into decisions which so directly affect their lives.

It is also totally reasonable for any of the remaining homeowners to be given a proper geotech declaration of safety (as opposed to a comfort letter) before they return home. Nancy's home was assesed at $561,000 on the 2004 assessment. The correct thing to do with this property is to purchase it and return this land to Canyon Creek Park where it has always belonged. I presume that the same is being done with the Kuttner property which is assesed at $555,000.

Feel free to comment or correct any misconceptions in this email.


Bill Maurer