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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 037-00394; City of Agoura Hills
DSR ID# 49949,69160; Calle Montecillo Landslide
Citation: FEMA-0979-DR-CA; City of Agoura Hills - DSRs 49949 and 69160
Cross - Reference: Natural features, public versus private property, emergency versus permanent repair, time extension, pre-disaster unstable conditions.
Summary: The City of Agoura Hills is requesting funding for stabilization of the downslope hillside of Calle Montecillo Road, within which a landslide occurred during the 1993 winter storms. The majority of the slide occurred on the adjacent private property, but extended into the roadway right-of-way, damaging a portion of the roadway itself. FEMA funded a Category B DSR for emergency protective measures (soldier pile system) to protect the road and adjacent properties, and a Category C DSR for geotechnical engineering services to determine permanent repair options for the road. Based on the results of the geotechnical study, a hillside grading scheme was selected as the more cost-effective method of stabilization. FEMA prepared DSR 49949 as Category B in the amount of $500,000 to fund this grading scheme. Significant delays occurred in gaining access to the properties, and in response to a second request for a time extension, FEMA determined that as the work was considered "emergency work" and as it was not completed in three years time, it could not be considered necessary to reduce an immediate threat. DSR 69160 was prepared to deobligate eligible funding in DSR 49949. This determination was upheld in response to the applicant's first appeal, because the site was previously unstable, thus limiting eligible funding for the landslide to Category B work. The applicant contends that the condition of the hillside continued to pose a threat, thus necessitating the additional grading efforts.
Issues: Is the hillside eligible for stabilization and does the condition of the hillside continue to pose a threat?
Findings: The adjacent hillside was unstable prior to the disaster. Therefore, permanent stabilization of the hillside is not eligible. The remaining portion of the failed hillside is on private property for which FEMA assistance is limited to providing only emergency protective measures. The documentation does not support that a continued threat is present. Rather, the roadway and hillside have performed adequately since the installation of the soldier pile system. Therefore, the grading stabilization scheme is not eligible for Category B work. Eligible funding is limited to repair of the roadway section and for design costs expended prior to deobligation of DSR 49949.
Rationale: Permanent stabilization of a hillside found to be previously unstable is not eligible for assistance. Public Assistance for private property is limited to emergency work. Landslide Policy, Stafford Act Section 403 and 406, 44 CFR 206.221(c)