Reporting Robbie Owens
McKINNEY (CBS 11 NEWS) - Four blocks of sidewalks in a McKinney neighborhood are now off limits after a collapsed retaining wall created a safety hazard. And some neighbors say, they saw it coming.
“For two or three years we’ve been walking down here, and we’re looking at the wall,” says Mark Berrier, demonstrating how the stone wall was starting to buckle. “We’re like, ‘that’s going to collapse.’ My father-in-law is a contractor and he was walking back with us from the school one day and he goes ‘oh, yeah, that’s gonna fall down’, and this was a few months before it happened. But, it looks bad.”
Now, homeowners throughout the neighborhood are complaining of cracked, bulging, retaining walls– and wondering what will happen next.
Another homeowner along Laurel Oak Drive says if one wall has collapsed, it’s a reasonable worry that others will as well.
And Luke Jacobs has a swimming pool to worry about. “If that swimming pool cracks because the wall fails, I’ve just now got a disaster in my backyard,” says Jacobs.
There’s no question than the walls are crumbling. But, the bigger question is who’s going to fix them. Homeowner Larry Duncan believes the original developer is responsible. But, he’s not having much luck getting answers.
“That phone number doesn’t even exist any longer,” says Duncan. “The last guy that came out to take a look at the wall said this wasn’t even close to being built right.”
Duncan says he’s contacted the city as well as the Homeowners’ Association, but he keeps getting told that the walls are the responsibility of the individual homeowners.
“That’s ridiculous,” insists Berrier. “That’s like building a house on a sink hole and have it collapse and have the homeowner fix it. That’s unfortunate. I hope they get their act together and fix that.”
The original developer is deceased and Duncan says all he’s getting is frustrated.
“I feel like I’m one of those hamsters on a wheel – I keep spinning the wheel; but, I’m not going anywhere. We’re not getting anywhere.”
City leaders say their hands are tied because they can’t use public funds to repair private property. Meanwhile, homeowners say the safety hazard/eyesore is a hurting the entire neighborhood.
“If I were to put my house up for sale right now, the first thing people would notice is that fallen wall there and then they would question whether the wall in my back yard is gonna fall,” says Jacobs.
And it’s a good question. But, homeowners say they are short on answers– and long on frustration.
“Just stand by your work,” says Duncan, “to do it all over again, we wouldn’t have even built out here to begin with if we knew what we were getting into.”
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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