Dispute over responsibility in North Salt Lake landslide continues

Posted at 10:11 PM, Apr 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-29 10:32:07-04

NORTH SALT LAKE, Utah -- It's going to cost $2 million to repair the North Salt Lake hillside responsible for a devastating landslide in August that destroyed one house and damaged a business, according to city officials Tuesday.

For the past several months the city and Eagle Point Development have been in negotiations as to who will pay for it. Those negotiations have come to a stalemate according to both sides.

Eagle Point development says the cost of the repairs should be a combined effort between themselves, the city and the utility companies. The city disagrees.

"We don't think it's appropriate for us to commit the citywide resources to fix that slide when there are others -- just not appropriate use of 100 percent of public funds to do that," said city manager Barry Edwards.

People living in the shadow of the landslide are frustrated that the city and developer can't come to terms and fix the hillside.

"Accountability has to fall on both parties -- I don't think it's just one person or the other, the development group verse the city, it's got to be both," said resident Mike McDonald. "You build up here, you develop here, you should be pretty straight up, you should know what you're doing. If something slips through the cracks it slips through the cracks but just like anyone else if you're responsible for it you have to take responsibility for it."

Residents say while the two sides get bogged down in negotiations it's the neighborhood that suffers.

"We need to focus on how we can resolve the matter or find a solution to this problem we cannot finger point who is to blame --it happened it is a force of nature," said resident Muhammad Awan.

Other people say the longer the hillside remains in disarray, the less attractive these houses become to current and future home owners.

"It was frustrating. We had just barely moved in and we were brand new to the neighborhood and we had a hard time trying to close on our home because no one wanted to finance up here where the landslide just happened," said resident Tawnie Simpson.

There was a neighborhood meeting that took place at one of the resident's homes Tuesday night but the media was not invited to attend.

The business that was affected in the slide, the Eagle Ridge Tennis and Swim Club, had boulders roll right through their complex onto the tennis courts. Three of their six courts have been closed since the slide. The club has now filed lawsuits against the city and the developer.

As for the house that was destroyed. Eagle Point Development is in the process of building the family a new house in the same neighborhood.