Lack of construction permits may have contributed to landslide

By Ali Monsen

Published 08/07 2014 07:02PM

Updated 08/07 2014 07:11PM

NORTH SALT LAKE, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Authorities say a lack of construction permits could be partially to blame for Tuesday's massive landslide.

Eaglepoint Estate homeowners voiced concern for their safety, Thursday, and city officials responded by opening up about what they currently know.

"We believe that we've found some place where there may have been some work done out there, where it wasn't done with permits--both on the part of the developer and some of the residents," said Barry Edwards, North Salt Lake City Manager.

Officials say they are still trying to figure out how much the construction had to do with the landslide. They are also investigating whether or not anyone could have mitigated the damage beforehand.

"We spent a number of--a couple of hours--with our staff, reviewing the Geotechnical studies..." said Edwards.

Although media were not allowed into that meeting, Good 4 Utah's Ali Monsen still looked over the studies. What she found was that the numbers geologists recorded barely made the cut-off point to allow building homes in the area. For example, the minimum safety factor for static conditions is 1.5. The Eaglepoint subdivision came in around 1.54, barely making it.

So why would developers cut it so close? That is a good question...

"The developer doesn't come to meetings, doesn't speak out, and doesn't acknowledge anything," said Edwards.

GSH Geotechnical, Inc., the company responsible for the geological reports, did not comment or return phone calls, either. Meanwhile Eaglepoint homeowners say they continue to worry about another massive landslide rolling down the mountain.

"That could be pushed over across the street and do damage or destroy our home..." Edwards explained. "We actually feel less safe because no one actually knows if that mountain could give way," he said.

To see an official copy of the 2013 Geotechnical study referenced above, click on the following link:

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