Two neighbors started with a dispute over a leaning wall. I was asked to give an evaluation of the situation and what could be done about it. A little investigation led to recognition of the fact that these two houses are one block from a notorious spot where, after two decades of attempts to stop the movement, Honolulu County purchased a number of affected houses and tore them down.

Wai’oma’o Slide area, O’ahu

Funny how there’s that big green spot in the middle of the map, eh? In other words, the problems were not, certainly not primarily, about one neighbor being negligent; they were primarily about the whole neighborhood sliding downhill. Further discovery eventually led to a report by a contractor, Geolabs, working for the City & County of Honolulu documenting sliding in the whole local area going on right down to the present, with the street in front of these two neighbors moving about an inch a year. We analyzed this report in detail and noted that groundwater levels in the locality have shown a new and higher baseline level in recent years, which may be related to the slipping. As of 2017, discussions for a settlement… pun unintended… were ongoing between the client and the county.

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