The State Board of Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists issued Ventura resident and licensed engineer Douglas Frank Burke a citation and administrative fine of $1,000 on April 11 for violating the Business and Professions Code in failing to comply with Title 16, California Code of Regulations. The board found that Burke’s professional opinions in his “Preliminary Report about Hydrostatic-induced and Earthquake-induced Landslide Hazards for the Ventura Hillside Mid Town,” dated May 4, 2015, did not have a basis in fact or experience or accepted engineering principles. 

The four-page citation highlights statements in the report about drainage concerns that were misrepresented, comparisons of local landslides — La Conchita and Camarillo Springs mudslides — to the Ventura hillside where they do not present the same concerns; as well as for citing a seismic map as evidence of potential landslides while the map, according to the state board, is simply a tool “to alert both geotechnical consultants and public agency staff” to investigate and evaluate a particular site to determine actual site conditions. It also speaks to Burke’s claim that the hillside is in a “major landslide situation,” for which Burke refers to text from a document titled Special Publication. The board stated that the hillside project is not in that same situation and that Burke used the information from the Special Publication out of context. 

The “Preliminary Report about Hydrostatic-induced and Earthquake-induced Landslide Hazards for the Ventura Hillside Mid Town,” was created in response to a 55-luxury-home residential proposal, brought to the city in July 2014 by Los Angeles-based real estate developer Regents Properties, to build on the hillside above Ventura High School. Burke’s home is located near the proposed project.

The Board’s citation only recently was made public. Click on the thumbnails below to read the full citation.