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O.C. homes demolished due to sliding hill

February 25, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Bulldozers were out early Thursday morning demolishing another home in Anaheim Hills.On one side of an Anaheim Hills street, in a decades-old neighborhood, it is in good condition. The problem for many of the residents in the area is that right across the street they are forced to look at an eyesore Caltrans is trying to clean up.

"It is just very sad because many of these people have lived here since 1966, and they are losing their homes," said Anaheim Hills resident Andrea Ferenc.

The latest demolition began at 9 a.m. Thursday, but the scene is nothing new in the area. Hillside homes above the 55 and 91 freeways have been sliding, according to residents.

It all started in the 1990s when the state began construction on a freeway-widening project. Homeowners say that is when the slope became vulnerable and over the years it hasn't stopped sliding.

A handful of homes along Maple Tree Drive and Circle Haven Road suffered cracks in their foundations. Caltrans has already paid out $12 million in settlement money, essentially buying out and then tearing down damaged homes.

Eight homes have already been demolished, and residents across the street still don't know what will become of the soon to be vacant hillside.

"We all know how property values have dropped because of the property bust. So now what are the chances of selling my house which is across the street from a mess like this?" said Anaheim Hills resident Gary Konnecke.

Caltrans did complete a stabilization project in 2008, but it is little conciliation to neighbors who have to sit and watch another home come down.