3 ON YOUR SIDE: Cleveland woman's yard disintegrates off side of embankment
An elderly Cleveland woman wants answers after she says construction has caused part of her back yard to disintegrate.
Jo Ann Hawkins says the problem is only getting worse. She has lost 14 feet of her property to erosion.
Hawkins, 73, has lived in her Cleveland home for over 20 years. Now, she says she can't even let her great-grandchildren play outside anymore because her back yard is falling off the side of a 25-ft. embankment.
"That's bought-and-paid-for property that has fell, and got thrown away," she said.
What once was a sloped hill in Hawkins back yard is now a steep drop-off. It's the result of new development in her Cleveland neighborhood, near Kilgore Dr.
"I seen how bad the dirt was falling," said Hawkins.
She says, the new homes aren't the problem. Her property is shrinking.
"She has lost at least 800 square feet of property, off of this bank. I mean, it's just gonna continue getting worse," said Bobby Goins, Bradley Co. Commissioner, District 5.
Cleveland developer, Renner Realty, broke ground behind Hawkins' home last year. Since then, rain has caused the edge of her property to erode, taking trees and part of the back yard along with it.
"Every time a piece of dirt falls off, she's losing money. You know, every time she loses a piece of property, her home value goes down," said Jeff Yarber, Bradley Co. Commissioner, District 5.
Channel 3 stopped by Renner Realty's office on Friday. An employee told us that the company hired an engineering consulting firm to find a fix for the problem.
Because the land is part of the MS4 district, which is Tennessee's stormwater service program, Bradley County officials say their hands are tied, but they've notified the state for help.
State enforcement officials are investigating the claim. If any action is taken, it could be several months.
"While they're consulting their attorneys, this woman is losing more and more property," said Yarber.
"It's just so nervewrecking," said Hawkins. "Aggravating."
The developer hired the engineering consulting firm Geo Services, LLC to look into the issue. However, a timeline or deadline for making those fixes has not been determined.