The residents of the Twin Falls Strata on Walkem Road are looking for a little more stability.
A recent letter sent to the town is urging action to help stabilize the bank behind the development, which has been classified as too steep and could pose a risk.
Len Briden, strata council president, said the developer had a geotechnical engineer on site throughout the building of the development in 2005 and 2006.
“He went as far as he was told to go,” said Briden. Residents thought this meant the land had a clean bill of health.
But when it looked like there were cracks developing in the bank, residents sought the complete geotechnical report that covered the bank, only to find there wasn’t one.
“Once we found that out, we engaged him (the engineer) to complete it,” said Briden.
Briden said they were surprised when they got the report outlining concerns about the bank.
Citing the full report from Lewkowich Engineering, Briden said the houses are set back far enough from the edge of the bank and are safe. The road in front of the houses could be at risk, he added, especially if there is an earthquake.
“He is guaranteeing it won’t go back as far as the foundations and the houses. Parts of the road will slough off.”
The strata council has had companies come in and examine the stabilization solutions suggested by the engineer, which could include a block wall similar to the one along Chemainus Road, but not as high.
Briden said they trust the Town of Ladysmith and are hoping their action will prompt things to get done.
“As far as we are concerned, it’s the developer’s responsibility,” said Briden.
The letter sent to Ladysmith council said they are looking for a resolution from either the developer or town by the end of the year. If there is none, the strata council may seek litigation.
From the town’s perspective, they followed the usual processes for developments for Twin Falls.
“The town does not require complete geotech reports on these developments,” said Sandy Bowden, director of corporate services. “What the town requires is that a geotech be consulted.”
Bowden said they have record of around 60 tests the engineer performed on the site.
“From our perspective there is nothing different about this particular development,” she added.
A letter from the strata council and information on the situation was presented to council on July 4. Council voted to send the information to staff for a full report.
That report, said Bowden, will likely be presented at an August meeting.
A full copy of the report presented to council is available at www.ladysmith.ca under council agendas for the July 4 meeting.
Parhar Property Management, the developer, did not wish to comment on the story at this point.