Shifting mountainside destroys Chilliwack homes
They were supposed to be dream homes in one of the Fraser Valley's ritziest neighbourhoods - but those dreams were shattered when the homes started shifting due to a slow-moving landslide.
Chilliwack's Panorama Heights resident Gary Dixon's home is literally coming apart. Bricks are crumbling, the porch is sinking and beams have shifted off their blocks.
"I was just at a loss," Dixon said. "I didn't know what was going on. Then I found there were others that were having problems."
The problems began with a landslide 4,000 years ago. Because of the slide, the mountain the homes are built on is slowly moving, and the homes are being destroyed.
Chilliwack mayor Sharon Gaetz says the mountain was screened before development began.
"We had an engineer that signed off on these lands saying they were perfectly safe," Gaetz said.
Three homes have already been demolished, and 42 others are believed to be on the slide. Now the city is offering to purchase the properties from homeowners at 80 per cent value - a settlement worth $18-million.
"This saves them court cost and legal costs and all of that, had they gone the court route," Gaetz said.
The city says the homes are only moving centimeters each year, and those purchased will be rented out as long as they're safe.
But Dixon, who has already reached an out-of-court settlement, says he'll stay as long as he can because he can never sell the property.
"There's no value left in the house," he said. "It's scrap."
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Michele Brunoro