A widow who lives on Green Mountain Road must either demolish or relocate her home because of the continued threat of landslides.
Directors at the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen approved an administrative recommendation Thursday to impose a remedial action on the property that in layman’s terms means it is condemned.
The home faces many threats from a steep-sided cut bank on one side that continues to move, it’s situated above a creek, and there is unstable ground above the home where Green Mountain Road cuts through the landscape.
An Evacuation Order was issued on the home April 24 and it has not been inhabited since.
“This is quite an unusual situation that can be seen as a consequence of the flooding that’s been quite devastating this year,” said Tom Siddon, director for Area D, which includes Green Mountain Road.
“I visited the home several weeks ago to see the driveway all cracked and of course the road above it is all slumped.”
Earlier in the day during the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure presentation pushed staff to find out if acquiring the house was an option and there was a specific ministry fund to mitigate flooding impacts.
“… if you have to expropriate a house for example because it’s sliding down the mountainside, who’s paying?”
Steve Sirett, Okanagan-Shuswap district manager stopped short of saying the province would buy 1825 Green Mountain Road from the homeowner.
“That would be an example of where we might purchase private property if we were to expand the road or rebuild a road and required private property, then we would potentially acquire it,” he said.
RDOS staff told board members the homeowner’s insurance will not cover the cost to move the home or mitigate the unstable ground.
“The owner has advised their insurance company is considering it as an act of God, so no insurance,” said Brad Dollevoet, development services manager.
He added RDOS staff is in the process of helping the homeowner file an application with the province for financial assistance. If approved, the province will pay up to 80 per cent to a maximum of $300,000.
A detailed site assessment report completed by Ecora Engineering June 20 states, “Due to the large size of the total slide mass, remedial works to stabilize the ground long term would be extensive, costly, and may or may not be successful.”
The remedial action must be completed within the next six months. Temporary access to the home and garage will be given to remove contents, demolish the structure or complete necessary repairs under the approval of a qualified professional geotechnical and structural engineer.