INVESTIGATES: Backyard trenches open safety concerns for SJC neighbors

Backyard trench opens safety concerns


A St. Johns County couple’s dream of owning a home began to crumble after the family said their backyard is eroding away and creating a safety hazard for their toddler and dogs.

Now the hole is also opening up questions over who covers the damage, as several other neighbors deal with a similar problem.

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Noelle Vann and her husband have been on the move for years and were ready to settle down in St. Johns County with their toddler.

The hunt for a new home ended last August at Creekside at Twin Creeks in St. Johns County.

“We fell in love with what we saw and knew immediately this is where we wanted to raise our kids,” Vann said.

The family said they signed the contract with LGI Homes and accepted the grade of their backyard as is. However, they were unaware of a washout they said the homebuilder agreed to fix.

Action News Jax saw the trench, which has grown to 2 feet deep in spots.

Other neighbors in the development reported similar problems. Action News Jax spotted at least four similar issues in other backyards.

“As the hole would get bigger, they would bring truckloads of soil, pack it down, and relay sod. As soon as it would rain, it would do it again,” Vann said.

Now, they’re digging for a solution.

“We want to stay here in this neighborhood and have our dog play outside, having our toddler running around outside without the fear of falling 3 feet in ground.”

Action News Jax’s investigator Robert Grant went to the front office of the homebuilder, LGI Home.

A sales representative would not comment but directed us to the corporate office.

So far, no one has returned our call.

Action News Jax also emailed St. Johns County government offices to see if the county was involved.

Action News Jax will update this story once there are new developments.