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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS

Yorba Linda

May 05, 1999|Lesley Wright, (949) 574-4214

An expensive assessment district is the only solution city officials are offering residents who fear their hillside homes may soon slide into the canyon. A 1993 slope failure took out hunks of backyards in the Hidden Hills area, leading officials to condemn several homes. Now, homeowners said they are seeing signs of a replay.

"It cracks, it pops, you get up and say, 'Oh, there's another crack there,' " said resident Dawn Muranaka of her home. "I think the entire hillside is going all the way."

Three homeowners filed claims with the city last month, charging that officials allowed construction to be done without the proper geological studies. But city officials said the area is all private property and outside their responsibility.

"I don't see how the city could have any involvement," City Atty. Leonard A. Hampel said. "The city would do whatever it could to help as long as it did not involve us in litigation or cost the city money. An assessment district would fix it."

City Engineer Roy F. Stephenson said officials are monitoring the situation but do not believe any structures are in immediate danger.

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