A recent mudslide that threatens the safety of six San Clemente homes had led to the filing of a lawsuit against the City of San Clemente. The homeowners blame a faulty water management plan of the city for imperiling their homes. The claim of the homeowners rests on the City's decision to dump storm water from an underground vault onto to slopes aready weakened from heavy storms. San Clemente City officials denied that their actions had any impact on the recent slope collapse near Via Ballena. Four homes on Via Ballena were recently red tagged by the City, indicating that they are not safe to be inhabited. Two other homes on the street are being monitored by the City, and may eventually be red tagged depending on further developments.
This case is similar to the action brought by homeowners in the Mt. Soledad area of San Diego. In that case, a sinkhole developed after soil became saturated, damaging a number of homes. The homeowners alleged that the City was responsible for allowing the soil to become saturated. The lawsuit went to trial and a decision was ultimately rendered in favor of the City.