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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | East County / THOUSAND OAKS

Homeowners File Suit Against Builder

November 19, 1998|ANDREW STEVEN HARRIS

The homeowners association at the Groves of Thousand Oaks has filed suit against its builder, alleging widespread construction violations in the 90-unit, 16-building condominium complex.

The suit alleges that Amcal General Contractors of Westlake Village and its subsidiaries failed to meet basic minimum construction standards, breaching construction codes for electrical wiring, plumbing, landscaping, waterproofing, retaining walls and sound reduction for the Ventura Freeway, which runs just a few feet away from the complex.

"All of the above have resulted in damage," the suit alleges.

"Said damages and conditions were in existence at the completion of construction, continue to the present and will continue in the future until such time as all deficiencies are repaired."

The suit does not name a specific dollar amount but rather asks the court to hold Amcal liable for the costs of repairs, damage to property, loss of market value of the homes and any punitive damages it finds appropriate.

Amcal officials disputed the lawsuit's allegations.

"We absolutely and categorically deny that any of the allegations have any merit," said Percival Vaz, president of Amcal.

"Because it is in litigation I can't get into specifics beyond that, but we do deny the allegations."

Residents of the Holly Grove Street complex say that although some units have had no problems at all, others have seen significant damage.

Some complain of mildew created by recurring water leaks, crumbling stucco outside the buildings and fumes from improperly placed heater vents that drift into patio areas.

Other complaints include faulty building design and sound walls between the complex and the highway that reach only as high as the second floor of the buildings, even though many of them are three stories high.

The development, which includes a spa, pool, recreation area and "tot lot," was built in late 1992 and its units went on the market in 1993.

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