September 16, 2015 12:26 am

Shifting hillside causing concerns in Summerland


SUMMERLAND — A large hillside in Summerland has been slowly eroding for nearly a century.

The damage is visible through a handful of large cracks that run across Canyon View Road and a substantial ridge that runs through the green on Hole 3 at the Summerland Golf and Country Club just down the street.

Dave Carleton, who lives across the street from the hillside, says he has seen the repercussions first hand.

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“[The sloping] has gone onto my property almost to the fruit trees, sinking my fence 15 inches this year,” he says. “It’s got worse and worse over [the last] couple years, and I think something should be done soon.”
The District of Summerland contracted out a land study to see what was going wrong. The results came in during Monday night’s council meeting.
Council accepted the recommendations made in the study, which include:

• land use planning measures
• survey monitoring program
• intrusive field investigation (including surface drilling)
• flood mitigation options
• collection of water use information and
• bylaw measures

“It’s all very well to say jump in and do something but you have to know what you’re doing and data to back it up,” says Summerland Mayor Peter Waterman.
The concerns continue to grow downstream of Trout Creek, which runs at the base of the sloping cliff. The biggest fear is a massive slide could block the creek and the water that breaks through it could cause major problems for the more than 100 homes potentially in harm’s way.

It’s impossible to tell if the hillside will give way in one fell swoop, which is why the district is looking at flood mitigation options and preventative measures.

The district is also looking into onsite drilling to see what is causing the problem below the surface, but that is an expensive venture.
Since Trout Creek is part of B.C.’s jurisdiction, Summerland is looking to the province for some government funding. The goal is to secure that funding and start drilling sometime this fall.

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