Friday, September 22, 2017

Marinwood CSD ignores Urgent request to Repair Mudslide and Risks Lawsuit

Marinwood slide victims, agency vie over how to prevent another collapse

Barbara and Alan Miller sit in their backyard on Wednesday in Marinwood where a landslide poured into their backyard in January. They fear another slide could smash into their house if work is not done on the hillside.Robert Tong — Marin Independent Journal

By Keri Brenner, Marin Independent Journal



Barbara and Alan Miller have been trying to get the Marinwood Community Services District to perform work to prevent another slide.Robert Tong — Marin Independent Journal

Alan and Barbara Miller dodged the proverbial bullet this past winter when heavy rains collapsed a section of the Idylberry Fire Road in the open space above their backyard, triggering a landslide of mud, water and debris up to — but not past — the sandbags stacked against their back door.

But now, with the rainy season on the horizon again, they fear they may not be so lucky.

“This has the potential to do a lot more damage than it’s done already, if not fixed,” said Alan Miller, nearly 90 and, with his wife, a resident of their home in the Marinwood section of San Rafael since 1965.

“I had a beautiful backyard,” said Barbara Miller, 87. “I hate to look at it now — it gives me a headache.”

Benjamin Pappas, a geotechnical engineer hired by the Miller family, agreed the slide could worsen with more rain. Pappas submitted an Aug. 11 report to the Millers in support of a so-far unsuccessful claim for damages to the Marinwood Community Services District, which owns the open space area and fire road where the slide is thought to have originated.

“If left in its current condition, there is moderate to significant risk the existing landslide will grow in size and completely ‘wash out’ the existing fire road,” Pappas wrote in the report. Repairs are expected to cost up to $125,000, including legal costs and other expenses.


Despite the lack of any promised financing from the CSD, and because of the urgency of the rainy season approaching, the Millers’ daughter Wendy Miller said she hired grading contractors Lunny Grading and Paving to begin work Friday. They are expected to build a terraced wall to buttress the hillside that supports the fire road and prevent the whole trail from collapsing into her parents’ home.

“I can’t let my parents be subjected to this,” Wendy Miller said. “This landslide is threatening to inundate these elderly people.  See Full Story HERE

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