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NOVATO, CA-Sixteen brand-new homes of the Sunny Cove and Newport sections of the Hamilton Air Force Base’s redevelopment project have remained unoccupied for six months due to high levels of methane discovered around the property.

The project is slated to build 300 homes but the number has been halted at 100, since the United States Army Corps of Engineers found that there are high levels of methane in the ground and development, which could be flammable. The methane is the result of an old military landfill.

Although methane was not detected in any of the completed homes, the developer, Shea Homes, has delayed construction and home sales indefinitely. Instead, the developer has concentrated on building an underground trench that will provide a vent for the methane from the landfill.

The developer expects to complete the trench this month, so it can sell the homes. More than 60 homes in the area are already occupied, and were sold for about $600,000 each.

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