Sinkhole threatens Atlanta home, city denies responsibility - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Sinkhole threatens Atlanta family's home, city denies responsibility

ATLANTA (CBS46) -

It's a modern day story of David versus Goliath. A local homeowner decided to take on the city of Atlanta over a drainage dispute in his yard that is now a serious safety concern.

William Bledsoe's backyard is getting smaller by the day. It began vanishing after he bought the home on Sandspring Drive in Southwest Atlanta two years ago. There is a sinkhole that is approximately 18 feet deep just a few feet away from his home.

"You had no idea it was going to turn into this?" CBS46's Adam Murphy asked.

"No, I wouldn't have bought the house," Bledsoe said.

So just how close is the sinkhole to his home? Eight steps, which is dangerously close to his children's bedroom.

"I don't let them come out here. We play in the front yard because I'm concerned for their safety," Bledsoe said.

A drainage easement for the subdivision runs behind Bledsoe's property. Eight months ago the headwall of the drain detached from the pipe. The erosion that followed was massive.

"I've contacted numerous people with the city. I've called contractors, engineers, lawyers and nobody really seems to want to help," Bledsoe said.

Except for Mark Lee with Paul Lee Engineering.

"They're not responsible for the erosion. But they're responsible for the pipe," Lee said.

He's the engineer that surveyed the drainage easement 19 years ago before the subdivision was developed, and he believes the city is responsible for any repairs.

"The pipe is theirs, the pipe is theirs to maintain and take care of because they require it for the proper design of the subdivision. They're saying they're not responsible for the erosion, but they've got to take care of the pipe. The headwall falling off the pipe is their job. They need to get out here and take care of it," Lee said.

CBS46 News contacted the city of Atlanta and it said the property owner is responsible.

"This here stating that the drainage is required to be put in place by the city and signed off by the city says it's theirs," Lee said.

Lee said repairs could cost at least $4,000 and the longer the city waits, the more it will cost taxpayers.

"I've called contractors and had them come out and look and they've said there's no way this is your responsibility. It's definitely someone else's," Bledsoe said. "They're just hoping I'll go away. They don't want to fix it. They'd rather wait until it gets really bad I guess."

The city of Atlanta has said that if the homeowner and project engineer have documentation that holds the city responsible for maintaining the drain they want to see it. So engineer Mark Lee did just that, sending the city what he believes is proof it is responsible. We will continue to follow this story until action is taken.

Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>
  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    More >>
  • 'I got 2 clips!' Impatient mom pulls out gun, threatens barber cutting son's hair

    'I got 2 clips!' Impatient mom pulls out gun, threatens barber cutting son's hair

    Friday, April 28 2017 5:45 PM EDT2017-04-28 21:45:21 GMT
    (Source: Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County Facebook)(Source: Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County Facebook)

    Police are looking for a woman who pointed a gun at a barber all because her son's haircut was taking too long.

    More >>

    Police are looking for a woman who pointed a gun at a barber all because her son's haircut was taking too long.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly