Minutes of the Seymour Escarpment Committee Meeting

June 15, 2005

DNV Hall, 355 W Queens Rd,  Meeting Room A


Meeting called to order at 7:35 p.m.    Phil Holland (acting chair) Bill Maurer (acting secretary), Nancy Van Insberge, Shirley McLaren, Cas Bohlken, Willy Schuurman, Keith Errington, Jozsef Dioszeghy (DNV liason)

1. Adoption of minutes. Minutes accepted as written.

2. Geotechnical Reports: Current data collection is being done by BGC Engineering under contract to the DNVs lawyers. The focus of the current data collection is the immediate slide area up to 2 residences to the north and south of the Perralt property at 2175 Berkley. It essentially focuses on 5 properties at the top of the slide area. The immediate goal is to determine the inhabitability of the remaining 3 unoccupied residences at the top of the escarpment and the Dykes property at the bottom of the escarpment. This decision is expected sometime next week. The district's insurer's are the Municipal Insurance Corporation. They are contracting the law firm of Singleton and have also retained their own geotech firm which is confidential.

3. Status: Once the immediate slide area geotech study is complete BGC will begin work on an overall Slope Stability Management Study for the Seymour Escarpment. This is expected to begin in July and reach its conclusion in December. 80% of the work being done by BGC is recoverable from the province via the disaster relief fund. The district will also be able to recover 80% of the cost of any remediation work it is responsible for from the province.

Part of a retaining wall which was on the west side of the Perrault property is now sitting a third of the way down the slope. There are no plans to remove it.

There are no plans to plant trees on the slope.

The district would have to pay for the costs to remove the catch basin if they determined a need to remove it.

Reviewing slope management systems in use by world leaders like Hong Kong and Rio di Janiero.

Piezometer remote monitoring system will cost $25K for 10 piezometers:
- Piezometers are in place
- duct work for cabling is in place
- data collector cabinet has been installed
- delays being caused by Perault legal team refusing to allow access to 2 piezometers on their property
- DNV legal has written a formal request for access to Perault legal (sent Fri Jun 10)
- Response is expected shortly
- anticipated system activation in July.

Emergency powers ended in late March.

Strength of soils is based on moisture content.

A question was asked regarding the possibility of analyzing aerial photographs to determine changes to the embankment. Jozsef felt that this would be ineffective as the photographs are missing significant detail in many locations, particularly under tree cover.

4. Historical Information: Aerial photos are located in Victoria in the Ministry of Sustainable Resources. Shirley found photos from 1967 to 1982 which is many years after the properties were developed. Keith thought older photos should be available and volunteered to confirm whether this was the case with his contacts in Victoria. The DNV has an archival process in place. Requests can be made via FOI. Joseph thought that it would be unlikely that much information would be available at the district which dates back to the 50's. Phil has seen topos for the area dating back to the 40's.

Shawn McLeod is the district's GIS Manager. They only recently started an ortho photo program and have aerial data from 1997 and 2000 and contour information from 1992 and 2003.

5. Hardship funding / grants / loans: The provincial government is paying 80% of costs incurred in uninsurable damage due to natural disaster. The DNV is using this funding for many of the remedial measures they have taken. Homeowners can get funding for up to $300K per property via this program. This fund was recently used to pay for the Kuttner home and contents destroyed in the slide. It is administered via the Provincial Emergency Program which has also paid accommodation and food costs to evacuated homeowners. No further information is available regarding funding for private homeowners taking remedial measures to improve the stability of their properties.

6. District Geotech availability to homeowners: The $275K geotech budget approved by council for fiscal year 2005 will be used to fund geotech analysis of properties requested by homeowners. This will be accomplished by subcontracting the work to a professional geotech firms as opposed to hiring a geotechnical consultant. The district is offering free geotechnical analysis of properties to homeowners as well as geotechnical assessments involving the removal of structures or other hazards of concern. Homeowners will still need to hire their own geotech firm to assess new construction in areas requiring geotechnical approval.

Retaining walls over 4 feet require a permit.

The district is not liable if they do nothing to prevent natural erosion of a homeowners property unless they remove a structure or material which formerly supported that property.

7. District plans for providing storm sewer connections for properties discharging rainwater down the slope: There is no storm sewer north of 2249 Berkley. This makes it impossible for homes north of this location to redirect their storm sewer runoff. The Slope Stability Management Study will provide a safety analysis of current conditions and make recommendations for improvements. It is expected that one of the recommendations coming out of this study will be the extension of the storm sewer north on Berkley up to the point where properties drain into Canyon Creek.

8. Other Business: There is an exposed 12" pipe on the Rivergrove / Berkley staircase. Jozsef doesn't think this is the water main since these mains are supposed to be buried.

The District is accepting input on items they wish included in the Slope Stability Management Study.

Keith would like to see the requirement for a drainage ditch from Hayseed to Layton recommended in the 1980 report but never installed to be reviewed in the new Study.

9. Next meeting: second week of September.

 Meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.