City of Bellevue takes legal action to demolish home made unsafe by landslide

The City of Bellevue is continuing efforts to secure and demolish a home that collapsed during a landslide on Jan. 17.

Both the city’s building official, as well as a private engineering firm, have concluded that the house is unstable and could collapse at any time, posing a significant risk to people and other property.

On Friday Jan. 28, the city took legal action to get access to the home, owned by the Surdi family.

“We realize the Surdi family is dealing with a terrible situation,” said Brad Harwood, Chief Communications Officer for the city. “They have decades of memories and personal belongings invested in the home. Throughout the process, we’ve made consistent efforts to work with them and will continue to do so. The city does not take this legal action lightly. But unfortunately, the area is dangerous, and we need to move more quickly.”

According to Harwood, the city has been in close contact with the Surdis and their attorneys. Safely providing an opportunity for the family to salvage any property has been an ongoing discussion.

At the end of January, city staff made a request to enter the property, secure it, and demolish the house due to the looming safety hazard. The request was reportedly denied.

Seven homes in the area remained “red-tagged,” with neighbors unable to return to their homes due to the unsafe structure. The city has been making efforts to safely return those neighbors to their homes for weeks.

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Source: Bellevue Reporter