South San Francisco, CA November 27, 2015
“Only a half hour earlier we were sitting there having our coffee. We had noticed some new cracks and measured them, and went back into the house.” Adam Ornellas said about the shocking event that happened on Thanksgiving morning around 9:30am “Then my wife hears a loud noise and looks out the yard – it had disappeared into a sink hole! This is where our grandkids play nearly everyday!”
Soon after the construction started adjacent to 1240 Edgewood Way, Ornellas’ started documenting his concerns and bringing them to the attention to those related to this project on the 1.7 acre lot formerly home to the Cuneo Farm. Having lived in this home for 41 years he is well versed on the topography of the land, and even more so of his retaining wall which separated his lot from the level farm lot which appears to have been breached during construction.
While the facts are still being investigated the Ornellas home has been red tagged as the reported 20 feet wide and 10 feet deep continues to undermine the foundation of their home. No one is sure how much larger this sink hole will continue.
South City firefighters were on scene for over 8 1/2 hours on Thanksgiving, along with other City officials and management of the development, City Ventures. “Our City manager Mike Futrell seems dedicated to seeing this resolved, and quickly.” we were told by neighbors on the block. “The fire fighters even offered to come back and help us pack up our home” Ornellas added as he looked for some positive in the middle of this chaos.
Other neighbors share worry over the construction project as the home owner of 1256 Edgewood explained his personal distress. “No one asked for permission to take 5 feet of my yard. They did this without my knowledge – I came home to find this” as he points to the area that had been part of his yard, which now has a direct drop of over 8 feet. Currently the developers are using this area to construct a new retaining wall, of which he believes, he will be responsible for since it is on his property. On top of that, the foundation for the retaining wall was only partially poured which brings alarm of more failure to come. “With so many projects being developed in this City, does anyone really have the time to keep watch on it all, how many things are being signed off that maybe shouldn’t be?” another neighbor asked. We were also informed that 2 wells from underground aquifers were capped with cement and neighbors would like to know where the water was redirected, especially as El Nino threatens a potentially wicked winter.
Right now the immediate issue is finding a safe local place to park two of the trucks that are holding the Ornellas family furnishing and belongings. In addition they are looking to rent a home similar to theirs, a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in Sunshine Gardens – with a family room.
Adam’s wife Mary is a South City native and Adam has coached our kids for decades and now is the time we need to step up to help them out. Please if you have any leads on a home for them, or a place to park the trucks until they can figure out the next step, contact us at EverythingSouthCity@gmail.com
This is an ongoing situation and we will bring updates as we can. This evening (Friday 11.27.2015) Channel 2 News will be reporting on this during the 10pm broadcast.