Boise & Garden City

Don’t trespass in area of sliding Foothills, Boise Fire warns

Terra Nativa's Damaged Streets

Cracks in Alto Via Court have worsened the last few weeks, to the point Ada County Highway District says it can't keep up.
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Cracks in Alto Via Court have worsened the last few weeks, to the point Ada County Highway District says it can't keep up.

The Boise Fire Department will only respond to life-threatening emergencies in the area around Alto Via Court, declared unsafe for the public after homes and other infrastructure started to slide downhill.

The most recent phase of the Terra Nativa subdivision has been damaged by the creeping landslide, prompting notices of lawsuits and uncertainty for homeowners whose properties haven’t developed cracks yet.

“This area is not safe and people should stay away for their own safety,” said Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan in a Wednesday statement. “Stability of the ground has created a number of very serious hazards that could be life-threatening to anyone who ventures into the slide area or among these homes.”

Officials say they’re concerned about young people and teenagers who may wander into the area without understanding the hazard.

“We’re lucky no one has been hurt yet,” Doan said in the statement. “People continue to venture onto this private property out of curiosity, but they should know that they trespass here at their own risk. Unless we know someone’s life is in jeopardy, we cannot risk the lives of our firefighters by entering the slide area.”

The issue became clear in mid-March when a home on Alto Via Court, built in 2013, sustained damage due to shifting ground. Homeowners have signaled they plan to pursue lawsuits against the city of Boise and the Ada County Highway District, claiming the agencies should have warned homeowners of the landslide risk.

No one is living full-time anymore in the homes affected by the slide, a Boise Fire spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The Boise attorney, who lives on Alto Via Court in the Foothills, wants to make sure he and his neighbors are compensated for damage to their houses from shifting ground.

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