Homeowners battle building company over deteriorating wall

by: Jeff Smith Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

This week's nasty forecast is making nearly two dozen North Charlotte homeowners nervous. 

They said with each rainstorm the wall that's holding up their backyards keeps lurching outward, and they're worried about safety. 

Homeowners in the Sonoma Village community have been battling for months with building company DR Horton to fix the retaining wall that keeps their backyards from falling into a marsh. 

"Every rain you just pray you still have a house when you come home," said homeowner Layla McCall. 

McCall showed Eyewitness News the 6-foot wall that keeps her backyard from slipping into the undeveloped marsh. 

"Our issue is it's eroding here, and eventually this wall is going to fall," McCall said. "You just worry if the wall is falling today. You worry if this the day you come home and your house is in this natural wetland." 

Nearly two-dozen residents said for the last few months bricks along the wall are moving and sliding, and cracks have started to develop -- small at first, then bigger with every rainstorm. 

"This is definitely a safety risk because if this wall goes, eventually it'll cause all of this ground to go, because this is a slope. Our houses will potentially fall off the foundation," McCall said. 

McCall said homebuilder DR Horton added cement two years ago to fix the problem, but now they're refusing to do more. 

Other residents said they've called the county, and were told there was never a permit issued for that wall, meaning that county code enforcement has no record of its construction. 

"I don't think any of the workmanship that I've seen done has been quality," said homeowner Rita Krebs. "Eventually we could lose half our backyards, at least." 

Somona Village residents are now emailing and calling county code enforcement and asking for a meeting with inspectors this week. 

"We're going to ask them to come out and inspect it and see if it's something the county can fix," McCall said. 

McCall said she hopes inspectors will intervene before the problem gets worse. 

Eyewitness News emailed DR Horton, asking why they aren't reinforcing the wall with cement. They didn't respond to the message Sunday evening.