East Price Hill’s landslide in May affected the backyards, patios, and decks of 7 condominiums whose building foundations are literally 12-15 feet from the edge of the hillside. It occurred just below a concrete curb and fence at the edge and boundary limits of the backyard. The wall isn’t a retaining device, so there is nothing to prevent future landslides from migrating underneath the wall, into the back yards and patios, and up to the building foundations themselves.
It is unclear why a retaining wall wasn’t built at the time of the development to protect and preserve the backyards of these buildings. It’s believed the building foundations are anchored into bedrock, but future landslides could result in these condos literally hanging over the edge of the hillside.
Built in 2002, the development plans were reviewed by The Hillside Trust’s Land Use Advisory Committee (LUAC). The LUAC clearly articulated in its letter to the City of Cincinnati hearing examiner: The developer has no room for error in sitting his buildings so close to the edge of the hillside.
With a 10 year statue of limitations upon them, these residents are trying to seek relief through their property insurance and possible litigation against the developer. Meanwhile, they have to address the prevention of future landslides by erecting a retaining wall that will save their backyards at a cost of about $100,000 paid out of pocket. At the same time, hope that insurance compensation and/or litigation can help them.