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Orange County Digest

Costa Mesa : Project Blamed for Damage to 15 Homes

December 17, 1985|Heidi Evans

A geological survey commissioned by the Costa Mesa City Council to investigate the cause of cracks in homes and sidewalks near two construction projects found that the construction of South Coast Plaza II is responsible for the damage to 15 homes.

Damages had been reported at 147 homes bordered by Sunflower Avenue, South Coast Drive, Bear Street and Fairview Road since early September.

Araj Poormand, chief engineer for Irvine-based Leighton & Associates Inc., told the council on Monday night that the berm created along the South Coast Plaza annex was responsible for soil settlement under 15 homes.

Residents had blamed the shifting soil on the contruction of an underground parking lot for the South Coast Plaza annex on Bear Street and on the 296-unit Arnel Development Co. apartment project along South Coast Drive.

Residents also alleged that excavation for the parking lot was draining water from beneath the neighborhood, causing the land to settle.

About 100 gallons of groundwater a minute were being pumped from the 20-foot-deep pit, city officials earlier reported.

Copies of the $35,000 geological report will be made available to the public beginning today.

Costa Mesa Mayor Norma Hertzog said the council plans to study the report and to contact homeowners this week.

"We'll just have to see where we go with it now," Hertzog said.

About 63 liability claims have been lodged against the city, seeking damages of more than $54 million for the cracks in homes. Residents were awaiting the outcome of the city-commissioned report before deciding what further legal action, if any, to take.

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