Homeowners fail to convince Kelowna council to postpone work to avoid possible landslide - InfoNews

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Homeowners fail to convince Kelowna council to postpone work to avoid possible landslide

Tension cracks next to a Black Mountain Irrigation District pumphouse on Kirschner Mountain have triggered fears of a slide.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/City of Kelowna
March 11, 2019 - 3:19 PM

KELOWNA - A plea for city council to reconsider its decision to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to avoid a possible slide on Kirschner Mountain fell on deaf ears today.

Stephen Smith and Sara Potton, who own one of two properties that may be billed for the work, asked council to “take a pause” before starting work. Cracks in Loseth Road and land next to a Black Mountain Irrigation District pump house appeared last summer and a geotechnical study in late January said there was a risk of a “catastrophic” slide.

That got council to agree to remedial work that could be billed to the property owners.

“There is no fill on the north side of my property,” Smith told council today, March 11. “It’s all glacier. It’s concrete. It’s not moving. We’re not concerned at all for life and limb.”

There was a special stakeholders’ meeting held last week that, Smith said, showed there was a groundwater problem that needed to be monitored but the situation has gone on since last summer so there’s no need to rush into expensive work.

“I think it would be negligent on our part to press the pause button,” Coun. Brad Sieben said as he moved a motion to continue as planned.

Coun. Gail Given added given that council has been told by staff and a third party consulting firm that there is a high risk of a slide, the risk of a charge of negligence against the City would be high if council agreed to wait.

Council approved $1.2 million worth of remedial work, if necessary.

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