After about a week of evaluating land to make sure there was no further rain damage to their slopes, Skyline Ranch developers Monday announced their plans to resolve a recent “landslip.”
After inches of rain came down in January, a handful of homeowners around 2 p.m. Feb. 5 noticed the land in their Plume Way backyards slid about 8 feet.
As expected, based on recent announcements from the builders, the affected homeowners are facing a monthslong delay before they can return to their homes.
Two days after the incident, a Santa Clarita official said Tri Pointe Homes — the developer responsible for the ridgeline community of newly built homes valued in the neighborhood of $1 million — issued a plan that resolved a yellow tag on one of six affected homes on Feb. 6.
A yellow tag means a homeowner can enter a home to remove items because it’s structurally sound, but there is a concern with the property that makes it uninhabitable.
On Monday, the builder issued a statement announcing plans underway to inspect all of its homes that are 15 feet or higher, while putting a remediation plan in place for the five remaining yellow-tagged homes.
“The first stage, which commenced onsite (Monday) involves I-beams being placed in the slope to provide stability,” according to a statement shared by Christine Rombouts, on behalf of Tri Pointe Homes, the developer of the Lyra at Skyline community. “Installation of the I-beams is now anticipated to take approximately seven weeks, barring inclement weather delays or unforeseen circumstances.”
The I-beam installation is the first of two stages, according to Tri Pointe officials, who also announced that they are working with “geotechnical, slope stabilization and remediation experts” on their plans.
“In coordination with these experts and the city of Santa Clarita, there are two stages to the remediation and rebuilding of the impacted slope,” according to the statement, which also did not establish a timeline for the second stage, which “involves designing and placing caissons, which are retaining structures, into the slope.
“The specifications and duration of this stage will be determined once the design work is completed by the structural and geotechnical engineers and reviewed by the city of Santa Clarita,” according to the Tri Pointe statement, which noted that “erosion control will be closely monitored during both stages of the remedial work on the impacted slope area.”
Tri Pointe did not immediately respond to follow-up questions about when the concern was first identified, where the homeowners had been re-housed, the duration of the second stage and whether any of the residents were looking to move following the slope failure.
The builder also thanked the city for “moving so expeditiously” to review its plans.
City Building Official John Caprarelli noted Feb. 7 that the city restored power the night of the slope failure, when the aforementioned yards slid into a transformer and took out the power for a handful of homes.
The city confirmed via email Monday afternoon that Tri Pointe’s plans were approved through an expedited review process.
“Last week, Building & Safety received plans and calculations from the developer for temporary slope repairs,” Caprarelli wrote in an email to The Signal.
“We expedited our review process and were able to issue the permit for these repairs on Wednesday. The project has started, and city building inspectors began inspecting the work (Monday),” he added. “Once the temporary repairs are in place, additional work will be needed to permanently stabilize the slope and allow the homes to be reoccupied. We are currently awaiting plans and calculations for the permanent repairs.”
The city had untagged a Lambent Way home by Feb. 7, once the developer had identified the hillside behind Plume Way was no longer a threat.
The incident reminded many in the Santa Clarita Valley of an incident that happened in Canyon Country, where a slope between an American Beauty development and Trestles failed.
In that incident, which happened in mid- to late-February 2019, developer Lance Williams of Williams Homes ended up confirming to The Signal in April of that year he purchased back several of the homes.
In that scenario, the repairs began in January of the following year, according to previous reporting in The Signal.
Williams did not immediately return a phone call Monday seeking comment on the resolution of the incident.