Who Is To Blame For Sinkhole That Threatens Home?

CANTON, Ga. — A homeowner in Cherokee County is worried that a sinkhole may swallow her home.

Kimberly Hopkins lives in the Great Sky Development in Canton. She told Channel 2 Action News reporter Linda Stouffer that the ground on her side yard is sinking. She's worried about the safety of her two children.

"(It) just gives way, it just falls down," Hopkins told Stouffer.

"Anybody could walk back here and fall. I've done it, I've fallen in there."

Her fence is damaged, whole sections fell in the sinkhole and had to be removed.

A solution to the problem is hard to come by. It's not clear who holds direct responsibility for repairing the problem.

Canton's city engineer, Celia Klardie, told Stouffer it's a"complicated situation."

The city has not accepted the road for city-run maintenance because it is not complete. The developer has not installed the final topping of asphalt.

Klardie also said she tried to help negotiate a solution with the construction of a rock-filled channel in Hopkins' yard, which the developer, Fairgreen Development, would have helped construct. Klardie said the Hopkins rejected that solution.

"Therefore, I did not continue pursuit of a formal design or negotiations regarding promises to cover costs," Klardie wrote in an email.

Hopkins said she was not convinced anyone was offering to completely pay for that fix.

A spokesperson for Fairgreen Development said any issue now needs to be resolved between the homeowner and the two builders who constructed the homes on either side of the eroded ditch.

Ernie Derico, marketing director for Fairgreen said there, "Shouldn't be a water problem there."

He also confirms the street, River Birch Court, was built without curbs to simulate a rural mountain road.

Hopkins said the absence of curbs is part of the issue. Some water is coming from across the cul-de-sac and straight into their yard.

Hopkins said the erosion is getting worse with every rainfall.

"We don't think we're responsible for paying for this," Hopkins said. "This is not our doing. We built a house. We expected there to be a way for storm water to come through. Everyone points the finger at the other person and no one wants to accept responsibility. They just kind of shut down."

She is afraid repairs could cost more than $15,000. She has consulted with lawyers about a lawsuit, but would rather work out a solution. She wants the ditch repaired and her fence reconstructed.

"It is ultimately up to the two property owners and the developer to resolve," Klardie said.