Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mountain Air Landslides

Mountain Air Resort Slope Failures Cause Extensive Property Damage

Burnsville, North Carolina

Mountain Air Development Corporation, developer of the nationally known Mountain Air Resort, is being sued by a group of property owners whose condominium units have been damaged by slope failures.

In 2003 the foundations of two of the five Austin View Villas began cracking and by late 2004 the foundations of the buildings began "sliding" down their steep embankment causing extreme structural instability. According to court documents the Villas have been uninhabitable since early 2005. (07 CVS 19) Current tax records show the value of each of the units to be $640,000. A similar complaint was filed against Mountain Air Development Corporation by the Hemlock Bluff Villas Condominium Association, Inc. for damages caused by a landslide. The Hemlock Bluff units are adjacent to the Austin View Villas and in August 2004, two of the condo buildings were severely damaged by slope failures. This case has been settled out of court. (06 CVS 51)On June 20, 2007 the Mountain Air Development Corporation placed a half page advertisement in the real estate section of The Wall Street Journal introducing the sale of their newest mountain slope properties...Settlers Edge offers unbelievable views...the Settlers Edge opportunity is very limited ..just 16 spectacular homesites... 11 mountaintop estate homes, and 38 condominium homes . Readers of the Mountain Air promotion will find no mention that the property being marketed is in a high risk natural hazard area and that property owners in the resort have experienced landslide property damage.

Mountain slope property is Western North Carolina's most important salable asset. Unfortunately all of this real estate is in a state designated high risk natural landslide hazard region. ( 1998 Report/North Carolina Department of Emergency Management) The financial risks for those who live on or near unstable slopes can be extreme. In North Carolina there is no insurance coverage available to protect homes and property from landslide damage regardless of the cause. Insurance companies know from experience that landslide events are predictable and costly and they will not insure this risk. For more information about the Mountain Air lawsuits please visit