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4 Terra Ridge units in Williams Lake deemed unsafe, foundations shifting

Land slippage has been an ongoing issue in the area
Terra Ridge is a housing development in Williams Lake, where four units have reportedly been deemed uninhabitable. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake residents living in four units at Terra Ridge have been asked to move out due to safety concerns, the city has confirmed.

Building inspector Gary Deane said the strata council at Terra Ridge hired a structural engineer to go through all 80 units at the development and provided the city with a copy of the report.

The report indicated there has been “significant damage” due to shifting of foundations and framing at three units, Deane said on Wednesday, Sept. 20, noting the term “uninhabitable” was used in the report.

A revised report the city received since then upped the number of impacted units to four, the city’s chief administrative officer confirmed on Sept. 27.

Dean said based on the information in the report[s] the city revoked the occupancy permits on those units and placed ‘do not occupy’ notices on them until the city gets a little bit further into the process.

Land slippage has been an ongoing issue in the area.

In 2022, the city and the Cariboo Regional District released a slope stability study that identified areas with moderate or high concern.

Portions of Dog Creek Road, Highway 20, Terra Ridge and the old college site as well as two areas on South Lakeside Drive were identified as part of the active or recent high hazard red zone.

Deane said there are more details to come and the process is evolving.

He noted the city is working with the strata council to identify where there are real problems and immediate danger.

Mayor and council, along with several senior staff members, who were attending the Union of B.C. Municipalities Convention (UBCM) in Vancouver met Wednesday, Sept. 20, one-on-one with senior provincial government officials to see if there is any help available for the residents living in the damaged units.

“Locally, our emergency support services has talked to some of the owners already and are trying to make alternative arrangements for housing,” said Deane.

Describing it as a terrible situation that no one wants to be in, Deane said the city has “a lot of empathy” for everyone involved.

“We are jumping all over it and whether the province can help these people or not, we don’t know yet, but we are trying everything we can to try and free up some help for them.”

He had not slept in four days, he added.

Deane said he assumed the impacted residents are seeking legal counsel and that the city is doing the same.

During the committee of the whole meeting Tuesday, Sept. 26, Muraca said funding has been made available for accommodation and meals for the displaced residents until Oct. 18.

Mayor Rathor said he visited the residents on Sunday upon his return from UBCM and spoke to the chair of the strata council on the phone.

“I told the residents if they want any updates to contact council. We are trying as much as we can to be transparent,” he said.

The Tribune has reached out to the strata council for comment.

Terra Ridge is an 80-unit residential development on Wotzke Drive. The development is in an area impacted by land slippage. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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