Queen Creek's Earth Fissures
The fast growing area of Queen Creek is facing the same problem with earth fissures that Temecula, California experienced in the mid 1980's.
By 1988, there were more than 200 lawsuits alleging more than $25 million in damages filed against developers in the Temecula area. Riverside County initially put a ban on building permits and then passed an ordinance requiring structural and geotechnical evaluations.
Some residents left the area in fear of the fissures, others had difficulty selling their properties. Real estate brokers shunned the area and home values fell.
Can it happen here?
Queen Creek recently took a step toward dealing with earth fissures, commissioning a study that will include determining how the town will develop around fissures. But the problem is identifying where all the fissures are located.
The state has addressed these issues with a House bill that would require regularly updated, digital mapping of earth fissures utilizing GPS technology, which could take up to two years to complete. A Senate bill would mandate increased disclosure of earth fissures by property owners selling five or fewer lots.
The bills have yet to pass, and an appropriation of hundreds of thousands of dollars is needed for the mapping. More...