Friday, April 4, 2003 | 10:02 a.m.
Four more homes in North Las Vegas' sinking Windsor Park neighborhood will be torn down today and Saturday as part of the years-long effort to clear that development.
Since 1994, the city has spent about $10.5 million tearing down 111 of the 241 homes in the Windsor Park neighborhood, and paying to help move people out of the neighborhood, said Kenneth Young, the city's redevelopment manager.
The almost 40-year-old development was built on land that was later determined to be unstable, which prompted the city to launch its effort to relocate all the residents.
There is no timeline for the completion of the project, and no telling how long it could take as 102 of the homes in Windsor Park are still occupied and the relocation program is voluntary, Young said.
Windsor Park resident Angela Crowell said the damage from the unstable soils is visible in the remaining homes in her neighborhood.
"You can see the walls cracking and the houses starting to slant on quite a few of them," Crowell said.
Young said there is no immediate danger to the remaining occupants in the neighborhood.
The 111 demolished homes include six that were torn down for free a year ago by members of the Associated General Contractors, a trade association of builders.
Today and Saturday members of the association will tear down four more homes for free.
Guy Martin with Martin-Harris Construction, which belongs to the association, said the project is part of the association's annual community service effort called "Operation Desert Clean Up."
"We want to give something back to the community that's been so good to us," Martin said.
The Windsor Park demolition and relocation project is expected to cost about $13.7 million, of which about $11.2 million is federal funds, $1 million is from the city and $500,000 from the state, Young said.
Crowell, who rents a four-bedroom house in the community, said she thinks the city is trying to buy the land to build a new and better residential development there.
Young said there is no specific plan yet for the property once all the homes are removed. However, because federal funds are paying for most of the project the land will probably end up as public space, possibly for recreation, he said.
The 48-acre Windsor Park development was built between 1964 and 1966. Around 1988 problems with some of the homes, such as cracking foundations, were discovered and about three years later a geological study showed the soil was unstable and the development was built atop faults and fissures, said Patricia Watkins, a management analyst with the city Community Development Department.
In April 1994, four Windsor Park homes were moved to an area of city-donated land called Cibola Park.
Then in June 1994, 45 homes were built on city-donated land known as Walker Park, and Windsor Park residents were relocated to those homes.
Since June 1997, about 60 Windsor Park homeowners have taken advantage of up to $51,050 in grants offered to each homeowner to pay off mortgages, and help buy and relocate to new homes. To be eligible for the grants the owners must have lived in their Windsor Park home since September 1994, and must be moving to a home within the city. Up to $15,000 in grants for renovating their new homes are also available.
There are also some vacant lots and homes in Windsor Park still privately owned, Watkins said.