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Residents forced out by landslide want answers

Posted at 4:59 PM, Jun 17, 2019

HARRISON, Ohio — With the ground sliding away right behind their hilltop condos, residents forced from their homes want answers.

“Why did it take this - the condemning the building and evacuating 14 families - for this to finally be addressed?” Kyle Sabol told WCPO on Monday.

“We’re very much looking forward to finding out who signed off that it was OK to build here when obviously it was not.”

They also want to know when they''ll be able to come back ... IF they can come back.

Sabol and his wife have a front-row view of the destruction behind their Heritage Square condo. The hillside washed away in heavy rains Sunday morning - right up to the porches.

“It was unbelievable,” Sabol said as they packed up to leave Monday.

Most residents are heeding the "Do Not Enter" signs posted on their doors. Sabol, his wife and their dogs are going to have to stay with family.

They gathered some important things and left to wait for answers.

“This is our first home,” Sabol said sadly, relating how the hillside started falling away months ago and swallowing their back yards.

A neighbor, Laurie Caminiti, said the erosion started in February and offered photos to document that.

Crews filled in the slippage with a temporary solution last month, Sabol said.

"It was sand, bales of hay and stone," said Sabol. "After the first rain, I think it was late May, it pretty much gave out."

The weekend storms worsened it to the brink of disaster. They had to evacuate at 2:30 in the morning.

“It was kind of hard to decipher whether it was the thunderstorm or the ground falling out beneath us,” Sabol said. “But when we checked it out, it was the island and the grates and the concrete giving out below us.”

Sabol said his homeowners association has been fighting Fischer Homes over slippage. Personally, he's at the end of his rope.

"We have emailed Fischer Homes. We’ve emailed our HOA. We’ve emailed the contractor. We’ve taken photos," he said.

In a statement last Monday afternoon, Fischer Homes promised some help but said it hasn't controlled the development since the homeowners association took over 2010. It reads:

"Fischer Homes wants you to know that we are in constant contact with the Legacy Condo Homeowners Association regarding this issue. Fischer Homes does not control the Legacy Condo Development and hasn’t since the HOA took over in September of 2010. That severely limits what Fischer Homes can do to assist them on this issue. Still, Fischer Homes is providing and will continue to provide technical and other assistance to the degree possible. In addition, we are reaching out to homeowners to provide temporary assistance with housing.

"The most important thing is to ensure the residents are safe. We will continue to work with the Condo Association on their plans to address the landslide issue.”

The residents have a meeting with condo association Tuesday night. They're worried about their property values and if they can ever return.