Mountain Park residents claim shoddy construction

It's the kind of neighborhood anyone might like to live in.

School teachers live next to sheriff's deputies, who live next to small-business owners.

But hundreds of homeowners in Mountain Park, like Jan-Marie Brown and Justine Chambers, joined a lawsuit charging their homes were not built properly by Stanton Park Development.

In some cases, they say, the defects are causing health problems.

Brown moved into her home on Kennedy Drive five years ago. Around that time, her husband, Philip, got a cough and other flu-like symptoms he can't seem to shake.

In the summer with the windows open, the house airs out and isn't as bad, they say. When the Browns started hearing about water problems from neighbors, they grew concerned. They had had several inches of water at a time pool under the house and learned they had mold growing under their home.

Brown said the family faces living with potentially toxic mold or losing their investment.

"I know there are people who are worse off than we are," Brown said. "All I want is a safe, sound home that will appreciate in value like any other home in Carson City should.

"We just want what we paid for. It doesn't matter if you paid $50,000 or $50 million, it should be safe and sound. There are building codes that should be followed. Homes passed inspection when they shouldn't have."

Builder Dwight Millard, whose company, Millard Realty and Construction, makes up half of Stanton Park Development, said the concerns have been overstated.

"Some people you're not going to make happy no matter what you do," said Millard. "We're still selling homes faster than we can build them.

"There are a few people who are unhappy and persuaded the neighborhood to join a class action. If they didn't say no, they were automatically in."

Included in the lawsuit are 381 of 530 homes in nine units of the subdivision.

"I would live in any one of those homes," Millard said.

Over on Marian Way, Justine Chambers had similar problems with water pooling under her house. As a child, Chambers and her brother caught frogs in the area, at one time a man-made lake. That water had once covered the area concerned her, but Stanton Park officials assured here there would be no problem.

Her backyard, however, floods constantly, she says. The problem is compounded by the fact the houses around her are built higher than hers, causing their drainage to come into her yard. She once had a view of the mountains from her bedroom, but now looks out on 11 feet of fence.

"Tom Furgerson (a partner in Stanton Park Development) said you get what you paid for," Chamber said. "This is the first house I bought by myself. I don't think I'm a second-class citizen because I paid $100,000 for the house."

Chambers also has health problems, which she believes are related to molds growing in her home. Her windows don't close in the winter, there are cracks in the walls, she said, and other problems with the home "have already devalued it."

Both Brown and Chambers said they just want their homes repaired, although Chambers said she doesn't believe the homes will ever be fixed.

"We want repairs made to the homes," Brown said. "That's all anybody can get. I just want my house to be the way it should be. I don't think anybody wants anything other than that. I don't think anybody expects anything other than that."

Millard said the lawsuit is in mediation and may be settled.

"I'm not exactly sure when this is settled whether the repairs will be done or if the people will just get a settlement to do their own repairs," he said.


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