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Bellevue takes legal action to demolish collapsed home

The city said it asked the property owners to allow it to demolish their home, which was damaged in a landslide but hasn’t received the go ahead.

BELLEVUE, Wash. — The city of Bellevue filed a complaint Friday asking the court to allow the city to demolish a home that collapsed earlier this month.

But the attorney representing the homeowners said the city has been hesitant to work with them on salvaging as much as they can.

The home in the Somerset neighborhood slid off its foundation Jan. 17 after a landslide and water main break. At the time, police said the home was sitting at about a 45-degree angle and it would need to be demolished or stabilized before it was safe for other residents to return home.

Last week, the city asked property owners John and Barbara Surdi and their lawyer if they could enter the property and demolish the house. The Surdis have not given the city consent to do so, according to court documents.

RELATED: Home collapse in Bellevue destroys couple's business, 30 years of memories

Bellevue’s Building Official Gregg Schrader and a private engineering consultant both determined the home should be demolished “as soon as possible,” according to the city.

David Bricklin, the Surdi's attorney, told KING 5 the family is trying to salvage what they can from their home.

"The city has been, I would say, hesitant to work with us in terms of developing a demolition plan that would allow the Surdis to have decent access to the property and to the material as it's removed from the property," Bricklin said.

Though the family has been allowed on the property to get some materials, they want the ability to salvage as much as they can.

The city said access to the home has been an ongoing discussion and its primary concern is neighborhood safety.

A Jan. 27 structural report from Pacific Engineering Technologies, Inc. found the wood structure was pushed off its foundation to the south and was still leaning downhill about 10 days after the incident. The company wrote the structure is unstable and was a safety hazard for people, the nearby street and structures.

As of Friday, residents were still not allowed to enter five homes near the site of the collapse due to safety concerns. Residents are only allowed partial and restricted use of a sixth property.

If work proceeds, the earliest it would begin would be later this week, according to the city.

The city of Bellevue previously said Bellevue Utilities confirmed an eight-inch water main was the source of the rushing water in the area. However, the city wasn’t sure what led to the break in the pipe or the cause of the landslide.


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