Santa Clara

Sinkhole Opens Up in Santa Clara Home

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A Santa Clara family is fighting with their homeowner’s association after a sinkhole was discovered underneath their condo – a problem they say they’ve been dealing with for more than 18 months.

“How are we going to see the end of this awful situation?” said Dough Ridley.

Instead of a hard wood floor, he now has plywood on his floor. A reminder of the sinkhole underneath his family room which is more than 6 feet deep and possibly opened because of a 1930s-era well.

Ridley said that more than 17,000 gallons of water, enough to fill a small swimming pool, is pumped out from underneath his condo every day. He said he discovered the sinkhole in 2018 and reported it to his homeowner’s association.

“The problem is we have not had any action to deal with it since May 2018,” he said.

His wife Sherry Shen said the association’s inaction only made the problem worse. “Now we have a mold issue and a foundational issue,” Shen said.

The Santa Clara couple is now suing the Santa. NBC Bay Area reached out to John Hill, attorney representing the association and received this response: “It’s our policy not to comment on matters involving litigation.”

Ridley and Shen said they’ve spent $160,000 to try to fix the problem and are losing $4,000 a month in rent because the condo is now unlivable.

In short, the sinkhole is sinking their retirement savings.

“It has compromised out entire life and our ability to spend money and our ability to plan,” Ridley said.

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