VENTURA, Calif. -

Ventura city attorney Ariel Colonne has opened a criminal investigation into what he calls "massive scarring" above Mint Lane.

Neighbors said they woke up last Friday to the sound of bulldozers. They said workers refused to show permits and plowed a winding road up to the peak above Ventura's two water tanks. The city posted a notice to stop any further action.

Peter Goldenring, the owner of three lots in the area, could be charged with a misdemeanor and be forced to pay for the hillside's repair.

Rick Ray lives below the hillside.  Ray said the damage is visible from as far away as Seaward Ave.

Ray said the homeowners on Mint Lane are outraged and shocked.

Goldenring is an attorney in Ventura. Attempts to reach Goldenring at his law firm, failed.