Pulte Centex: Fairness for Fairhaven NOW - Rivermist Remembered
Tuesday, 03 January 2012
Homeowners meet to write "buy back" letters
Schertz--Some homeowners in the Fairhaven subdivision in Schertz want their builder to buy back their homes. They met on Monday night to finalize their plans on writing "Buy Back" letters. The homeowners want Pulte Homes to buy back their homes after problems that include cracks in foundations, cracked walls, and sticking doors and windows. Pulte Homes did not want to comment, but in the past a spokesperson told News 4 WOAI that the company has a 20 year history of standing behind their homes and that they're working with homeowners to resolve warranty related issues. ...Only 12 Rivermist Certificates of Occupancies Reissed after 2 years. View Video Report on Fairhaven and Rivermist 2 Years Later
2 years later - Rivermist Neighborhood still struggling to move forward
VIEW: Reported by Mireya Villarreal
Today only 12 Houses have Certificates of Occupancies Reissed
Fairhaven Buy Back Meeting Rivermist 2 Years Ago
San Antonio -- This month marks the two-year anniversary of the Rivermist retaining wall collapse. After weeks of investigating, city inspectors concluded the wall was not properly built by Pulte-Centex (the builder) and the company didn't follow city code.
And while the city's Planning and Development Department has made a lot of changes to keep something like this from happening again, the neighborhood is still struggling to move forward.
William Hughs and his family moved into the Rivermist subdivision three months ago and live just a few houses away from the big wall. He's well aware of what happened with the wall back in January of 2010, but is confident things are different.
"They took a whole lot of steps to make sure it's as stable and as safe as possible. From what it was before to what it is now, I think they did an excellent job, Hughs told us.
But a row of empty homes across the street from Hughs and some found below the wall tell a different story. People still aren't ready to buy in this neighborhood.
And maybe that's because of the information that came after Rivermist. We found out, for years, construction companies were building retaining walls all around San Antonio but not pulling permits and the city had no idea.
If those walls were going up without permits, we didn't know who was designing them. We didn't know if they met the requirements in the building codes. We didn't know if they were inspected by engineers to make sure they were built according to plans, Roderick Sanchez, Director of Planning and Development, explained.
Since the Rivermist incident 311 retaining wall permits have been pulled by construction companies; some are for existing walls, while others are for new construction. Sanchez says his team has worked hard to make sure we don't see a repeat of Rivermist in San Antonio.
"This is about public safety, Sanchez said. It's about the process of making sure people are building the wall correctly and it's safe."
27 homes were in the danger zone when the Rivermist wall went down. The city pulled their certificate of occupancy to keep homeowners out of those structures and safe. Two years later, only 12 homes have been reissued those certificates. And three of the remaining 15 that are without certificates still need some major engineering work done.