Fort Washington

Maryland Homeowners Concerned About Shifting Retaining Wall

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Homes and yards in Fort Washington, Maryland, are sinking and shifting due to a failed retaining wall, residents say.

The retaining wall built to shore up the homes on a hill on Hallwood Place is rapidly shifting and the rainy summer made it worse.

“It's really happening right in front of our eyes that the wall is moving,” homeowner Sandra McClelland said.

“I haven't been able to use my yard for two years,” homeowner Cameron Briggs said.

“It's now pushing up against the houses and the foundations and causing damages to the house structures,” homeowner Catherine Kitchens said.

It’s unclear who is at fault: the developer DR Horton; Hills Carnes which designed the retaining wall; or Hardscape Construction, which built the wall.

With the houses themselves shifting, engineers monitored the movement, but that stopped after the COVID-19 pandemic.


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“Before they were coming out twice a week and monitoring,” homeowner Bill Hopper said. “That way they could give us a heads up if something is beginning to happen. They can let us know in an emergency and we can vacate the houses or do something. That hasn't happened since May.”

A spokesperson with the Prince George’s County executive's office released a statement saying, “While the county is not liable in this matter … we learned a year ago that there were issues with the integrity of that retaining wall ... We will use all emergency authority at the county’s disposal to protect the life and safety of our residents."

When residents sent pictures to the county showing how bad the damage has gotten, the county called for an emergency hearing that will happen next week. All parties will get together and hopefully figure out who is responsible.

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