CAMARILLO : Developer to Pay for Foundation Repairs
A Camarillo homeowners’ association will receive nearly $3 million to repair inadequate foundations beneath townhomes that led to cracked walls and floors, the group’s attorney said Tuesday.
Dole Foods Inc., which owns Barclay Hollander Corp., agreed on June 29 to pay the Camarillo Springs Townhomes Assn. for the damages, averting a civil trial scheduled to begin in early August.
The association filed the lawsuit in Ventura County Superior Court three years ago after homeowners began noticing hundreds of cracks in their patios, garage slabs, interior walls and tile floors.
Attorney Alexander Robertson said the cracks occurred because the homes were built on foundations that could not accommodate the seasonal swelling and contracting of clay soil in the area.
“It’s like constructing your house on a sponge,” he said. “As soon as moisture was introduced, the soil would swell and heave beneath the concrete slabs.
“If you have a thin, lightly reinforced slab, it will crack and buckle.”
The cracks occurred within the 121-unit Palomares section of the Barclay Hollander development that sits on Camarillo Springs Road at the foot of the Conejo Grade. The townhomes were built between 1987 and 1989.
Robertson said the builder knew of potential soil problems before construction through a soil engineer’s study.
But, he said, the developer ignored that study and hired a second soil engineer who “told them that the soils were not expansive” and would not require thicker foundations.
Attorneys for Dole Foods Inc. did not return telephone calls Tuesday.