The Death Knell of a Community...
Mayor Daly and the Anaheim City Council, on March 16, 1999, will vote on and railroad-through a proposal to set aside a meager $3.5 million for a Geologic Hazard Abatement District (GHAD) to pay for the maintenance of the dewatering wells in a futile attempt to prevent more landslides in a region officially designated as "AREA 4" -- the most susceptible area for future landslides due to its inherent instability.
Once the GHAD is in place, the Mayor and his political cronies will be able to wash their blood-soaked hands of that whole section of Anaheim. All of their liability for having promoted the development of homes upon a known landslide will quickly evaporate with the stroke of a pen.
No Mitigation of Landslide Allowed...
Even though the central concept for a GHAD is "Abatement" -- none of these funds can ever be used to abate or mitigate the slide: The City of Anaheim demands that "the use of the above-described 3.5 million dollar fund which is anticipated to be created through litigation settlements shall be restricted to activities which materially and substantially promote the objective of controlling groundwater levels." Even their own geologists, Eberhart & Stone, have stated, and I quote: "Dewatering is a stopgap measure and has nothing to do with mitigation." Mitigation is the process of removing the "Hazard" to the safety of residents living in the shadow of the landslide.
Mayor Daly and his Council know that the fund would be depleted in a couple of months if the moneys were used for actual mitigation of the landslide dangers.
The Big Deception...
But even if these funds are used solely for dewatering purposes, they can easily depleted in less than a decade. The proof of this fact is what happened with the GHAD that was formed to control the Big Rock Landslide which was roughly the same size as the Anaheim Landslide and had a similar number of effected homes, about 250. Their fund was $10,000,000.00 -- and was completely consumed by the excessive costs of mitigation in only 8 years. At that rate the Anaheim GHAD fund would barely last two to three years.
Each homeowner in the Big Rock GHAD are now paying $5,000.00 each and every year to sustain their burdensome self-taxing district -- with no assistance from any city or government agency. The past is prologue. This same fate now lies ahead for the already victimized residents of Anaheim Hills.
One of Mayor Daly and his Council's most sardonic comments was their unmitigated lie that "numerous residents in the vicinity of the Santiago Landslide have expressed a desire to form a geologic hazard abatement district." The City of Anaheim, from day one, for 6 solid years, continually refused to discuss any settlement unless they were able to force the GHAD upon the landslide homeowners.
Why 300 Homes in the GHAD?
I was very surprised to see how their GHAD map meandered in and out of one neighborhood after another. At first it didn't make any sense: There are 23 homes on the landslide; But they have included an additional 277 homes located literally blocks away from the landslide. Why are these 277 homeowners being taxed for a hazard that the City of Anaheim says affects only 23 homes? It is obvious that 90% of the homes should not be included in the GHAD. But without these homes being forced into the GHAD there would never be enough money to support the heavy burden of taxes necessary to sustain the high annual costs that landslide 'maintenance' requires.
I can easily visualize Mayor Daly, aided and abetted by his legal eagles, back-figuring this whole GHAD scam: "Let's see, if this landslide is going to cost $1.5 million per year and these people should be able to scrape up $5,000.00 per year, how many homes do we need to make this thing happen?" After a moment of thoughtful silence, a voice from the darkness says: "300!"
What About The Pegasus Landslide?
Please note that on Exhibit A there is another landslide noted by the City of Anaheim's geologists (on the left), called the Pegasus Landslide. This landslide is extremely active to this very day, as can be seen in the article: 'Anaheim's Landslide-Prone Infrastructure.'
Even though this landslide is actually more active than the main Avenida de Santiago Landslide, it has been completely excluded from the GHAD because of the fact that it is already part of a mini-GHAD formed a decade ago -- that has financially collapsed due to the horrendous burden of self-taxing, forced upon it by the City of Anaheim.
But, and this is truly a big but -- the homes adjacent to the Pegasus Landslide, along Aspenwood Circle and Leafwood Drive are in imminent danger of also being engulfed by this constantly moving mass of land. These homes were never part of the failed Pegasus mini-GHAD, and therefore pose a serious litigation danger to the City of Anaheim in the very near future. And that is the only kind of danger Mayor Daly and his Council ever worry about! They knew that if they could just sneak an extra couple of blocks, just a neighborhood or two, into the Avenida de Santiago Landslide, they could easily kill an extra bird or human. Their only expense would be the yellow marker they used on Exhibit B.
Mayor Daly's other big plus with his meandering yellow marker is that it increased the taxable number of homes within the GHAD to his 'Magic 300' mark of landslide endangered homes that could be sucked dry.
(To be continued...)
Formation of GHAD Resolution #99R-31 Notice of Vacancy GHAD "Benefit Area" Map Landslide DAMAGE Map