While many Boiseans prepared to watch the solar eclipse on Aug. 21, crews from Magnum Demolition began tearing down two Boise Foothills homes seriously damaged by a slow-moving landslide.
By Monday, Aug. 28, one of the homes was wholly demolished. The other was well on its way.
The price tag to tear down the crumbling structures? $49,300, according to Mike Journee, spokesman for the mayor’s office.
“The main reason those needed to come down was concerns (for public safety),” Journee explained.
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Neighbors had reported trespassers going so far as to stand on the unsupported balcony of one of the homes, Journee said.
“We were concerned about someone getting trapped or hurt and needing help. Then it becomes an issue of not only public safety, but first-responder safety,” Journee said.
In July, the Boise City Council voted to cover the cost of the demolition based largely on those safety concerns, as well as worries about the long-term costs of leaving the structures intact. The vote came two months after the city had ordered the owners of the two homes to tear them down at their own expense.
Several other homes on Alto Via Court have been rendered uninhabitable over the past 18 months as the ground in the subdivision continues to shift. In June, several of those homeowners were given a property tax exemption. The subdivision’s developers also saw tax breaks on a handful of bare lots in the area.
Owners of some of the damaged houses have sued Terra Nativa’s developers, the city of Boise and a host of geological engineers who worked on the development. That lawsuit is slated for trial in April 2018.
Journee said the city has no current plans to pay to demolish any of the other houses.
“Even if other homes are starting to show signs of stress, they’re not in danger of imminent collapse,” Journee said.