Thursday, October 04, 2007

Talk About a Housing SLUMP!

Can I admit I'm just a wee bit amused about this? And not the least bit surprized?

SAN DIEGO - Holli Weld was taking one of her sons to preschool when the street gave way under their feet. "It was sinking as I was walking by," she said. "The street was sinking before our eyes." She was witnessing a landslide that collapsed a swath of ground in one of the city's swankiest neighborhoods, destroying two homes, damaging several others and leaving a major street closed.

No one was hurt in Wednesday's slide, but more than 100 homes in the hilltop La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego were evacuated as authorities braced for further earth movement.

The landslide cut a 50-yard-long chasm in a four-lane street and left a 20-foot-deep ravine overlooking Interstate 5 hundreds of feet below.

City officials just one day earlier had warned residents of four homes not to sleep in them because the land might give way. It wasn't clear if those residents heeded the warnings.

The neighborhood, which comprises many million-dollar homes, is in an area that has a history of landslides dating back to the 1960s.

Orange traffic cones and sections of big concrete pipes sat in the fissure across the crumpled residential street, which serves as a busy shortcut between the surf neighborhood of Pacific Beach to the south and the fancy enclave of restaurants and shops in downtown La Jolla, a major tourist draw.

More, with the obligatory pics, here via Yahoo News

This is my former neck of the woods, having been born 'n' raised just a stones' throw from Mt. Soledad. (Yes, that Mt. Soledad, the focal point for a 'church vs. state' conflict that has been tying up the courts and taxpayers moolah for DECADES!) See what happens when you piss off the atheists? I bet the presence of the cross atop that hill will somehow enter into this incident.

Now when I fled that state over 20 years ago, that stretch of road was a 2 lane and was for the most part scrub and open canyonland. There was an enclave of fancy homes further up the hill, residences of the more notable San Diego citizens (Dr. Suess amongst the more famous home owners.) Mt. Soledad was also the mythical location of the fabled "Munchkinland"- a street said to be inhabited by former "midget" actors who had their homes custom built to scale to accomodate their smaller size. Many a youthful night, in the company of my pals, was wasted trying in vain to find the street. Come to find out that it's merely an optical illusion that creates the impression of miniscule homes on that street, something to do with the siting of the houses in relation to the level of the street, but I digress.

I guess the only reason I posted this was out of smug meaness and to point out the folly and vanity of man. Over the past 25 years out there in San Diego a madness had enveloped the folks. They just HAD to have a tony zip code (La Jolla) even if they weren't technically in the area proper and just had to have the obligatory McMansion to go with that false impression of wealth.
That area is smack dab on a known earthquake faultline (the Rose Canyon fault) and, as noted in the article, that particular spot has been prone to geological screwiness for nearly 50 years!!
Oh, but don't let that get in your way of trying to BE the Jones, let alone trying to keep up with them.
It's stories like this that reinforce my belief that I got out of there just in time.
Any native born resident there would have never bought a home on that stretch of road, let alone even think about building there in the first place.
I maybe stupid in a lot of respects, but even I know better than to build on a pile of pudding!
Greed, just plain, simple ignorant greed.

I'm not begrudging these unfortunate homeowners (or rather, in the case of most folks in San Diego, home leasers, because, let's face it, most will never be able to pay off their mortgages in their lifetime.) hell, if you think you got the dough-have at it-have the most gaudiest, opulent home you desire-what I'm saying is don't be blinded by your damn research first.
"Oh, hey, prone to tremors, unstable canyonland, known and documented landslides...hmmmm...but DAMN!!- checkout the view!! Yep, honey...let's build HERE!"


Blogger Walker said...

Snort! As a Christian, I do feel for them. As a sinner, I roll my eyes and snicker.

10/04/2007 9:55 AM  
Blogger white trash republican said...

Amen, Walker!

(btw...howzit wit' you? I don't get out your way much, gotta change that.)

10/04/2007 10:15 AM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

It is a pity but I'm always amazed at where Californians build houses - on unstable hills, on landfill etc.

10/04/2007 10:15 AM  
Blogger white trash republican said...

It all comes down to greed, Patrick.
Greed of the developers, greed of the real estate companies and on it goes.
You can only stuff so many puppies into a 50lb. burlap sack before the seams burst.
The seams were bursting 20 years ago, but no one cared, they just kept stuffing!
First the housing bubble burst, now this. But "wash, rinse, repeat."
The madness cycle will continue until that part of California truly does sink into the sea.

10/04/2007 10:36 AM  

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