The Steamboat Hills is a feature of hot, unstable rock riven with earthquake faults. It is a hostile place to build; slow progress, expensive, with a lot of noise and dust. Extra care must be taken to locate home sites away from hazards, and construction must adapt to the largely unstable rock formations.
Geological considerations and concerns that apply to Ascente:
- Geothermal activity may indicate instability in the rock structure from the lava mantle below.
- Earthquake faults have been identified in the area which have not been adequately mapped on the Ascente property.
- Geomorphology (topography) that will require re-shaping for the construction of roads and the preparation of home lots.
- Extremely hard Andesite and Rhyolite that comprise the Steamboat Hills. Blasting will be required. It is inherently risky especially with some of the toxic elements on the surface that could become airborne. Blasting may also cause unintended movement in the unstable formations.
There are some roughly level lots at the end of Fawn Lane and on Patti Lane that could likely avoid the problems identified, but these are likely adjacent to the fault system identified along the base of the Steamboat Hills (west side). If construction proceeds up the hillside, the problems of building on this terrain will be ever more critical.
See Kristin’s excellent page describing the geology issues for Ascente in detail.
See Kristin’s letter to the county planning department and county engineer about the apparent problems with the Lumos geo-tech study.