- Associated Press - Thursday, May 12, 2016

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A group of Boise homeowners is planning a lawsuit over shifting ground that has caused their homes to move over the past few weeks.

Two homeowners in a Boise foothills neighborhood have already filed tort claims against the city and the Ada County Highway District, and others say they plan to file lawsuits against the developer and engineers of the Terra Nativa subdivision.

“We’ve received no indication that anybody is going to do anything so far,” Eric Rossman told KTVB-TV (http://bit.ly/1rHMovE ). “We’ve had substantial movement, over a foot, in a pretty short period of time.”

Homeowners say more research should have been done before the subdivision was built. Now, the highway district has closed a road in the neighborhood due to landslide risk.

“ACHD’s infrastructure is in trouble, the earth is moving,” said Steve Price, general counsel for the highway district at a meeting on Wednesday afternoon. “This has been a historic, ancient landslide.”

Price told commissioners that the developers should have expected that increases in groundwater could cause the hillside to slide.

Don Farley, the attorney for Terra Nativa LLP, cited new drainage pipes installed above the subdivision by the highway district last fall as one possibility for the cause of the slide. The highway district rejected that argument.

“Despite the developer’s finger pointing, the storm water on Table Rock Road is not the source of water that is impacting the slide,” said Price.

Meanwhile, homeowners are asking the highway district and Boise city officials to temporarily re-open Alto Via Court to allow them to move out of their homes.

Chad Nicholson, an attorney representing four Alto Via homeowners, said that as long as the road remains closed, moving trucks won’t go to the houses.

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Information from: KTVB-TV, http://www.ktvb.com/

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