As part of a lawsuit settlement, the city of Los Angeles has agreed to buy the last of six homes that were damaged in a landslide in the hills of Tarzana, and the result may be a new park, city officials said Tuesday.
The City Council voted to pay $700,000 to buy the property of Marvin Hall, whose home at 18807 Edleen Drive began to slide in April 1993, causing the foundation and walls of the house to crack.
"There was pretty severe damage with cracks in the walls and foundations," said Les Pinchuk, the assistant city attorney representing the city in the case.
The suit is the last of six claims from property owners along Edleen Drive who blamed the city for the damage, saying city workers caused the slide by undercutting the foot of the slope when they graded to build and widen a city street down the hill from Edleen Drive.
Brewster Drive, the street down the hill from Edleen, was built in the early 1960s.
Without accepting fault for the slide, the city has agreed to buy each property for about $700,000 apiece, Pinchuk said. Four of the homes have already been razed.
Because the city will not allow the properties to be developed, city officials said they plan to use the land for a small park.
Councilman Marvin Braude, who represents the hillside communities in Tarzana, said the city has purchased many other homes on unstable terrain and has not allowed those properties to be developed for fear of further litigation.
City officials have yet to decide whether the park will include recreational facilities, such as benches and tables or will simply be left as grassy open space, Braude said.