Residents of a La Habra condo complex, who have been living with a massive sinkhole in their front yards since 2019, feel like they can’t catch a break as recent heavy rains have opened yet another sinkhole just feet away from the first one, while city officials expect them to foot the bill for repairs.

The new sinkhole started forming in the courtyard of the Coyote Village condo complex in La Habra at around 9 p.m. Wednesday night.  

“It felt like the beginning of an earthquake, followed by a very large crash. I run outside and see this giant hole,” condo resident Justin Marinello told KTLA. 

The original sinkhole from four years ago, which measures around 100 feet long and 20 feet wide, is also in the courtyard and has yet to be fixed.  

“No one can give any solid sort of answer,” Marinello said. “We’ve been talking with anybody and everybody that has walked by and nothing. It’s like living in a construction site.” 

  • Aerial shot of two sinkholes at Coyote Village condo complex in La Habra Mar. 16, 2023 (KTLA).
  • Sinkhole seen in 2019 at the Coyote Village condo complex in La Habra (KTLA).

The Coyote Village complex was built along a drainage canal that, years ago, had a thin concrete roof or cap attached to it. Since then, more than six feet of dirt has been put on top of the canal, along with grass and trees. The weight of all that is what crushed the cement cap four years.  

The added burden of all the recent rain has now shattered another portion of the concrete cap.  

La Habra Deputy Assistant City Attorney Gary Cranker says the city considers Coyote Village’s courtyard private property and believes the homeowners should pay for repairs. The homeowners association, however, thinks differently and is suing the city.  

Residents of the complex, many of them renters, are caught in the middle, even as their monthly HOA fees continue to rise.  

“You know, we haven’t been able to use the tennis court for years. We haven’t been able to use the pool for years,” Marinello explained. “In order to get to the other side of the complex, we have to leave the complex, go down the street and then go to the other entrance. It is aggravating.”  

More than $8 million of state money has been set aside to fix the problem, but the funds can’t be used until the city and the HOA reach some sort of deal.  

With the National Weather Service forecasting more rain next week, many residents are concerned that a third collapse could happen.