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Council delays legal action against property owners

Penticton city council allowed two industrial park property owners an additional two weeks to resolve issues surrounding a concrete wall and drainage issues prior to filing injunctive action.
Image Credit: City of Penticton
April 14, 2015 - 2:28 PM

PENTICTON - Two property owners have been given two more weeks to resolve their issues before the city against takes legal action against both of them.

The injunctive action planned against Action Steel (2365 Barnes St.) and Penticton Self Storage Ltd. (2360 Government St.) stems from a number of long-standing issues regarding a retaining wall and uncontrolled drainage.

At the March 16 council meeting, both parties were given 30 days to begin correcting the problems, but as of the Tuesday, April 7, council meeting, neither party had any progress to report.

Mike Nixon of Action Steel told council he had invited councillors Helena Konanz and Andre Martin to take a look at the retaining wall. He questioned the engineering of the structure as a retaining wall, referring to it as two walls, none of which were on his property. There were no engineering drawings or permits issued for its construction, he said, noting problems with the wall, including a collapse that took place during repair work in September 2014, as well as improper backfill, were not Action Steel’s responsibility.

“Action Steel is of the opinion the City of Penticton’s building inspectors certainly signed off on the mini-storage development, but were suspect the problem walls may or may not have been inspected by city staff,” Nixon said., adding the company was not in a dispute with the mini-storage, but had been placed in a position where they were forced to defend themselves.

Wine Country Self Storage’s Dennis Meakin, who owns the property below the wall, told council he had been told the structure in question had been built as a 'concrete fence' and had never been designed as a retaining wall. The fence was on the property when Meakins purchased the property 10 years ago.

He further stated he had been told the fence was never intended to have had backfill piled against it, rather it was to have been built on natural grade.

Meakin said none of the issues regarding lack of permitting or engineering of the fence came up during a property purchase search through the City of Penticton when he purchased the property.

“We’ve attempted to reach a settlement with Action Steel for responsibility for replacing the fence with a proper wall, but have not been successful. Action Steel has taken the position I am totally responsible for replacement of the six foot retaining wall to support their fill, drainage and engineering of its fill. I don’t agree with that,” he said. “To my knowledge, I do not have a legal obligation to provide support to the adjoining property owner above natural grade."

He asked the city to take action to have the fill removed so he could rebuild a retaining wall to natural grade.

Mayor Andrew Jakubeit asked Meakin if he had any suggestions for resolving the issue prior to the city putting a notice on title, asking if the two parties could sort the matter out between them.

Meakin replied the fill had to be removed before he could reconstruct the wall. He said he would rebuild to whatever was deemed by engineers to be natural grade.

Council expressed a reluctance to delay injunctive action but after further discussion agreed to allow both parties two more weeks to resolve the issues after they expressed a willingness to meet between themselves.

Council agreed to table the staff report placing a Section 57 notice on title injunctive action on both properties for an additional two weeks.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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