Monterey Hills : $25-Million Lawsuit Filed

A homeowners association, Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alatorre and other residents of a sinking Monterey Hills condominium project filed a $25-million lawsuit Tuesday against a city agency and developer for negligence in its construction.

The lawsuit by the Monterey Villas Homeowners Assn., made up of 92 homeowners, is one of numerous suits filed against the Community Redevelopment Agency by residents of the 1,600-unit redevelopment project that has been seriously damaged by soil settlement.

The Superior Court suit seeks at least $25 million for allegations of inverse condemnation, nuisance, negligence, fraud, strict liability and breaches of contract and warranty.

The Monterey Villas is one of six developments in a massive project envisioned in the late 1960s as a chance to give first-time homeowners an affordable way to buy a home close to downtown.

However, the homes were built on a landfill that has been settling unevenly, tilting and cracking structures and drainage, water and gas pipes.

In February, 84 owners of Drake Terrace condominiums were awarded $6 million in a settlement of their lawsuit against the Redevelopment Agency.

The suit alleges developers used improper materials, did not properly compact the soil and built more structures than the site could support.

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