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Sinkhole Forces Building Officials to Condemn Three Homes, One Homeowner Says Design Flaw to Blame

BROOKSVILLE – County Officials have condemned three homes inside the Trillium Subdivision, after a massive sinkhole formed along a retention pond on Trillium Blvd. And one homeowner is furious over what he says is a lack of response from the Developer, Pulte Homes, who he believes is responsible for the sinkhole.

William Dallas lives with his wife at 1707 Trillium Blvd and says his sister-in-law, carol Swenson discovered the depression forming in his back yard on Monday. Swenson says, “We came over here to stay with them during the storm, thinking it’s safer because I live on the Gulf.” Swenson goes on to say, “I was walking the dogs in the back yard when I heard this noise and turned around to see dirt falling in.”

Deputy Building Inspector, Tony Bryan responded to the scene and gave Dallas only a few hours to move as many possessions out of the home before condemning the structure. Bryan also condemned two adjacent homes, forcing those occupants to seek shelter with family.

Dallas says the sinkhole is not a natural occurrence and that a Pulte Homes is responsible because of a design flaw in the drainage system. Dallas talked to a Pulte Homes warranty representative who told him, “It’s not our responsibility,” and said to address the issue with the Home Owners Association.

We tried to contact a representative with Pulte Homes but they have not returned our calls.

I called Annette Jones with Trillium HOA but when I revealed why I was calling, she said, “I’m not talking about it,” and hung up the phone. I emailed my questions to Jones but I have yet to receive a response.

We were also unable to reach Tony Bryan for comment but a representative with the Building Department said someone should respond today.

Dallas’ family and several neighbors all pitched in to help move their belongings as quickly as possible, and despite being angry with Pulte Homes, he is grateful for all those who came to his aid.

During our interview with Dallas, he received the news that two storage pods were on their way to help store their belongings. Now they just need to find a place to call home while he struggles with the Developer and HOA to try and find a resolution.

So far there has been no noticeable damage to any of the three condemned homes, but it’s only a matter of time, says Dallas.

We will continue to follow this story and bring updates as they develop.

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  • They need to just bury trillium…they have been having problems for’s one giant sink hole…so investors will buy the homes and what!?? Sell them for a profit? Or rent them out knowing full well they are sinking?? Seriously ?? This is rediculous!!

    Thursday, 21 September 2017, 6:54 pm
  • Without a doubt,thats a washout caused by improper engineering. That whole swell area, should have been filled,formed with stone and packed properly with sand…….Same thing will happen here in Sherman Hills at the east end of ShermanHills Blvd. Our builder Premiere Homes said those were NOT buildable lots,next builder used about 12ft or more of sand upon sand….Someday it will erode with enough rain……….Kinda wonder Who the County Inspector is oking the improper work…….???? Takem to task!!!!!!!!!!!

    Wednesday, 20 September 2017, 5:05 pm
  • Hmmmmm…, Pulte, the same builder in Harrison Ranch, Parrish, FL where numerous homeowners discovered missing and incorrect Hurricane Shutters & installation hardware, when installing the shutters for the first time due to Hurricane Irma. From what I’ve heard when homeowners contacted the builder, Pulte’s response – “The one year warranty has expired, we are no longer responsible”. Wonder if this is actually the case?? Makes me question purchasing a home from this builder!

    Monday, 18 September 2017, 10:02 am
  • In this same Subdivision, about 40 yrds from sinkhole in this story, a ground indentation/hole also on the corner of Trillium Blv & Sugar Camp Way by the stop sign and next to sidewalk curve. AT&T just finished burying cable about 2 mo ago. At the end of the job, it was filled and sodded. Today, it is a HOLE about a foot deep. The danger is that residents walk and children ride their bikes every day over this sidewalk. Could this be the begining of a sinkhole. It’s located over the HOA common ground.

    Saturday, 16 September 2017, 5:10 am
  • We specifically asked about sinkholes in the area before buying last year. We were told there had been no incidents reported, …that they were aware of. I then asked if ground had been tested for sinkholes and how deep down it was tested. We were told we would get copies of all results for the test, …at the time of closing. Closing came and went, we’ve been here for about one and a half year. We asked about copies of those ground tests promised at closing? Since none were given at time of closing. Their answer; we’ll mail to you. We are still waiting.

    Saturday, 16 September 2017, 4:47 am
    • Was your home a new sale or resale? On the first section built they had a sinkhole open up during a bad rain storm. I cant remember if it was near a retention area. I think this might of been in 2006. You can google sinkhole in trillium they article might still be there.

      Tuesday, 19 September 2017, 8:20 pm
      • It was june 2012 when tropical storm debbie came through

        Tuesday, 19 September 2017, 8:44 pm
    • If you go to the ‘LRE Ground Services’ Sinkhole repair website, you will see an area with photos of ALL the sinkholes that opened up here in Trillium after Tropical Storm Debby in 2012!!!!!! We had one 3 feet from our back patio, along with many other of our neighbors!!! Most were in the back, on Nodding Shade Dr! A few were in the front yards, including one of our neighbors next door to us! We now have 2 more small sinkholes in our backyard since Hurricane Irma…they started out last Saturday as depressions!

      Tuesday, 26 September 2017, 11:09 am
  • At the corner of Trillium and Sugar Camp Way, (by the STOP sign and about 30-40 yards away from the initial and bigger sinkhole of this story), there is also a hole forming after AT & T did bury some cables, future sink hole? They had covered it an placed sod on top at the end of the job. The sad thing about this other young and forming sinkhole is that it is on HOA property. Located next to the sidewalk curve and where residents walk and/or children ride their bikes every day. Annette Jones was sent an e-mail by us as residents regarding this new hole forming and, has yet to answer us. I guess they are waiting for it to grow bigger until it reaches the closest next resident’s home which is about 15 feet away. By then, it will be the homeowner’s problem. The way I see it, the HOA should fix it now before it gets to the closest home. If it gets to that level, it will cost the HOA/Pulte a whole lot of $$$$ in litigation. Sinkholes start out as small indentations in the ground that erode to a hole which then sink and ultimately get wider. Trillium HOA, be proactive instead of “reactive”. Last night it rained hard again. It should be checked again in the morning for further erotion/expansion. Trillium, save yourself some money.

    Saturday, 16 September 2017, 4:31 am
  • Ryan please make it known when you found the sink hole. These people are going to keep selling these homes and they don’t care about the future victims. They never told Mr. Dallas about their sink hole history when he purchased the home just a year and a half ago.

    Friday, 15 September 2017, 5:54 pm
  • After tropical storm Debby several homes were condemned. The entire lake also disappeared into a sinkhole!

    Thursday, 14 September 2017, 10:47 pm
    • Yes that was right behind our house, in the ‘retention pond’…along with several huge sinkholes in quite a few of our backyards!!!! One in our backyard, 3 feet from our patio, beside a load-bearing post which supports our 2nd story bedroom/bathroom area!

      Tuesday, 26 September 2017, 11:16 am
  • This is a perfect example of what happens when you use cheep high volume track builders. Local custom builders are always a better option.

    Thursday, 14 September 2017, 6:05 pm
    • I completely agree. I would add, don’t buy a home in Sink Hill.

      Thursday, 14 September 2017, 9:48 pm
  • My family and I lived there 5 or so years ago this is not the first time that has happened in that subdivision

    Thursday, 14 September 2017, 6:02 pm
    • Your are correct Mr. Reagan. When i bought in here i knew that the first section built had an issue with sinkholes.

      Tuesday, 19 September 2017, 8:25 pm
  • Wishing these poor homeowners the best of luck – builders only care about the money first and will build on a garbage dump – they don’t give a s**t.

    Thursday, 14 September 2017, 3:51 pm
    • I agree that its all about money. Many subdivisions in this area were built on filled in wet areas. When they started to build in these areas I couldn’t believe it. For example, southern hills plantation, spring ridge, heritage pines.

      Tuesday, 19 September 2017, 8:29 pm
  • Why fight with the HOA or developer? Let your insurance pay to have the home fixed and then move back in or sell the home.

    Thursday, 14 September 2017, 3:21 pm
    • Exactly. Im a Realtor and this is an examole of “hot news” fear mongering. If tgey oaid tgeir oolicy they will get the full oremium anount which is replacement cost in 99% of situations. It jaooens nut a oerson who is,not an expert or geologist shoyld not weigh in in who is responsible. Ive seen it with 50k houses 50 yrs,old and million dollar homes almist new. No eay to predict and irresponsible of media to point finger without the facts. Insurance will take care of the issue and youll never hear xeom them again. I bet my bottom dollar

      Thursday, 14 September 2017, 5:57 pm
      • Are you sure you are a realtor?

        Thursday, 14 September 2017, 6:18 pm
      • Hey Tony…….better tell the county to get you a new keyboard…..this one is SCREWED up!!!

        Thursday, 14 September 2017, 6:59 pm
      • You are probably one of the realtors for that subdivision!!! I was there when the ground opened. It’s not a sink hole! It had so much water in it, the concrete colvert collapsed. I was the first one to see it. The water started to pour in, and more collapsed. Now, about 20′. So, save it. I saw it happen and it was not done properly!!! Case closed!!

        Thursday, 14 September 2017, 7:09 pm
      • holy spelling. it sounds like youre a 12 pack in

        Thursday, 14 September 2017, 9:11 pm

        Thursday, 14 September 2017, 9:17 pm
      • Tony, you need to edit your response or remove your name. There is no way I would ever hire anyone to sell anything of mine who couldn’t properly type. That is extremely unprofessional!

        Thursday, 14 September 2017, 11:50 pm
      • This is not true. He can file a claim for Catastrophic Ground Cover Collapse but if the adjusters find out it is not actually sinkhole activity, they wont pay and it sounds like it is not sinkhole activity but instead poor workmanship by a developer. Chances are the insurance company will decline the claim and then the homeowners recourse would be to sue the developer.

        Friday, 15 September 2017, 12:57 pm
    • Agreed. Sinkholes are an act of geology. Unfortunate circumstances but this is for the homeowner’s insurance.

      Thursday, 14 September 2017, 6:09 pm
    • Really easy to say! If you move back in, who says it is safe? Who will purchase the property when you have to disclose? Really?

      Thursday, 14 September 2017, 7:04 pm
      • Carol, if the home is repaired correctly the house should be safe. If the owner doesn’t feel it’s safe then sell it and move. Investors are always looking for deals. The owner could use what ever money is left from the repairs to put a down payment on a new home.

        Friday, 15 September 2017, 6:26 pm
  • What is the design flaw they allege?

    Thursday, 14 September 2017, 3:08 pm
      • Just fyi, when the ground collapsed, I did not see hardly any dirt. It was sand with a little grass on top. Sand, sand, sand..

        Thursday, 14 September 2017, 7:22 pm
      • You are referring to poor,inadequate compaction.This seems more of a washout than a sinkhole.They might want to load the hole up with some rip rap from the quarry and compact with a vibratary roller.i wouldn’t be so quick to move my stuff out, IMO …..

        Friday, 15 September 2017, 6:30 am
  • I found a massive sink hole under a driveway in this subdivision years ago while performing middle bores.

    Thursday, 14 September 2017, 3:08 pm
    • Please you need to make this known! All the homeowners in the surrounding area are under the impression if you call it erosion insurance will cover but if you call it a sink hole (which is what it is) it is not going to be covered by insurance and their property values will drop. What is more important property values or future victims????

      Friday, 15 September 2017, 5:49 pm
      • Casey, at first I thought the local neighborhood may want to pay Ryan to provide an experts opinion. But it sounds like you’re asking him to lie. If ryan says it’s a sink hole and I quote, “which is what it is” property values go down. If ryan says it’s erosion the insurance will pay and values will stay up. So you’re asking ryan to say what is necessary to keep home values up. What a way to think.

        Friday, 15 September 2017, 6:36 pm
        • Not a chance I don’t have anything to loose however there are families there that do bottom line I am not asking anyone to lie it is what it is. I am a heavy equipment operator and have seen plenty of sink holes. Sink holes swallow the earth. Erosion is just a wash out look at the pictures you can see it is not a wash out. The families in Trillium have the right to know about all previous sink hole activity and when they ask for copies of previous ground tests they just get blown off. How would you feel if a sink hole opened at your back door and the development knew but never told you about previous sink hole activity???? Read through the comments these people deserve answers not lies and cover ups!!!!!

          Saturday, 16 September 2017, 10:20 pm
          • Well Said!!!!

            Saturday, 16 September 2017, 10:38 pm
          • If it’s a sink hole then let their insurance handle the claim. What did the insurance company determine? If they haven’t made a determination you may want to wait until they finish their testing.
            If it erosion, bring in dirt. This is not the end of the world.
            It’s situations like this home owners buy insurance. If the home owner didn’t have insurance, they knew the risk. The home owner gambled they would never have a situation resulting in large repair bills. So I truly hope they If they didn’t have insurance they set aside the necessary funds to make the repairs.

            Sunday, 17 September 2017, 7:17 am
  • Who’s on first?…”fault”…Who’s fault?…”not mine”…No, not mine’s on second!…”who?”…No, who’s on first!

    Thursday, 14 September 2017, 2:46 pm
  • I thought the building has to be unlivable to be condemned…????? All you need is a sinkhole in your yard?

    Thursday, 14 September 2017, 2:26 pm
    • safety hazard. i dont know where you come from but the ground eroding away at a fast rate is probably a safety concern.

      Thursday, 14 September 2017, 9:13 pm

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