A Riviera House Is Falling Down the Hillside

A couple of readers wrote in asking about 1037 Las Alturas Road, “which is rapidly sliding down the steep ravine,” emailed one. “The occupants had to abandon the property without any notice. Sadly, it looks like everything they own is still in the house. It started with some of the heavy rains in January or maybe February. The ground from underneath the garage slid out, and then the garage slid into the house. And now the whole thing is going down the hill.” The other reader said a broken sewer line is to blame and that the owner’s insurance isn’t covering the damage.

I went to take a look and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen in Santa Barbara. (Here’s a “before” photo of the 1978 house.) This is obviously a tragedy for the residents, and a passerby said that the folks next door have been forced to move out, too, because their utilities have been cut off. Both readers wondered what the city is doing about it, but the building department said that the responsibility is with the owners to deal with the wreckage. There doesn’t appear to be anything directly below at risk, at least not yet.


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In the late 90s a friend’s rental house on the Riviera began to slide and crack, and FEMA came in and helped them out. Sorry for these folks, it must have been scary. Makes me want to find some solid bedrock to build on.


Wow, back in the day my Grandma built the house at 1131 Las Alturas road, hope it’s okay.

Bob bobby

That is real bad news. Homeowners insurance will treat it a lot like a flood, your homeowners insurance will not cover it. It as a non-covered event. Taking back by nature and excluded on your policy.Santa Barbara county may look at it the same too. you just lost your property. SOL. very sad, but a very clear and obvious risk of placing a home on the side of a big hill.

Kitty Rioux

I grew up in the original house that burned down in 1977 – the garage is the only thing that remained, the mailbox is the original as well. This land must be cursed.