Mudslide Victims Worry About New Plans to Build

Mudslide Victims Worry About New Plans to Build

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Jed Boal ReportingA neighborhood in Weber County is having disaster flashbacks after hearing about a proposal for new homes. Nearly five years ago a canal broke above a Riverdale neighborhood, bringing down mountains of mud that damaged 70 homes.

July 1999, saturated soil crumbles on the Davis-Weber Canal. A river of mud overwhelms dozens of homes below. The flood rang up millions of dollars in damage, forced an overhaul of the canal, and left neighbors wary that disaster could strike again.

Cherie Crezee, Riverdale Homeowner: “You could just watch the mud pour down. One of the neighbors said it was like watching Niagra Falls come down."

That torrent just missed the homes of Cherie Crezee and her neighbors; they live below the canal a block away. So they were stunned to discover a developer wants to build nearly 20 large homes on the narrow, steep slope below the canal and above their yards.

Cherie Crezee, Riverdale Homeowner: “If they interrupt the integrity of the hillside, do we have potential for the canal to breach again?"

Bob Hamilton, Riverdale Homeowner: “All you need to do is start taking some of the shrubbery off of there and making that hill steeper and it's going to be right back down in the back yard."

Aside from those worries, they can't understand how or why anyone would want to build there.

Randy Daily, Riverdale Community Development Director: ”Anything is possible, but there are numerous concerns with this property."

The Riverdale Community Development Director is worried about the grade of the hill, the canal above, the neighborhood below, and the narrow width of the area. He and the planning commission told the developer to take care of all of the necessary geologic and engineering surveys and come back to the board.

Randy Daily, Riverdale Community Development Director: “I just felt there was no way that could be accomplished."

We did not get a return call from the developer, but he told neighbors the homes would stabilize the slope. It will take him four to six weeks to find out if the project is feasible.

The neighbors plan to meet with the developer and the community development director this weekend to talk about the plan and see where it stands.

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