Slide event

Re: Slide event

Postby TylerM4 » Jan 12th, 2021, 8:49 pm

cv23 wrote: If the CoK did not require a geotech survey for development and building permits on a steep slope on the side of a mountain as in this case then then they take on a large portion the liability. The BC Building code outlines clear requirements for building on slopes and those requirements increase with the percentage of slope. The CoK's is responsible to inspect and ensure all requirements of the BCBC are met before issuing an occupancy permit.
If there was a geotech report it would clearly outline the recommendations/requirements for development/construction at that specific location (engineers cover their butts to the max). The CoK would have issued permits based on and including that report. The CoK would then have inspected that the requirements were indeed followed as they formed part of the permit.
If as suggested above someone didn't follow the geotech reports requirements or the BCBC then the CoK is again liable for not catching the deficiencies and issuing an occupancy permit for the premises.

FYI: The CoK turns down development and building permits all the time and can demand a geotech report anytime they want.


COK cannot just randomly choose whether a geotech report is needed or not. There are specific pre-determined criteria. True they can do whatever the hell they want but they'll lose the subsequent lawsuit.

Yes, COK are responsible for ensuring building are built to code. This is the permitting process, it captures engineering requirements including geotechnical. BUT, Just because they didn't catch something wrong doesn't make them liable for it. They'd likely be found partially liable, but the bulk of the liability will remain with whomever didn't build according to plan/permit.

It's clear that you're not aware that engineers do their own inspections to ensure the work was done properly not COK. All COK checks is that the engineer signed off on it. If that slope was engineered it was an engineer who inspected it and signed off on it, not COK.
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Re: Slide event

Postby cv23 » Jan 13th, 2021, 10:02 am


COK cannot just randomly choose whether a geotech report is needed or not. There are specific pre-determined criteria. True they can do whatever the hell they want but they'll lose the subsequent lawsuit.

Yes, COK are responsible for ensuring building are built to code. This is the permitting process, it captures engineering requirements including geotechnical. BUT, Just because they didn't catch something wrong doesn't make them liable for it. They'd likely be found partially liable, but the bulk of the liability will remain with whomever didn't build according to plan/permit.

It's clear that you're not aware that engineers do their own inspections to ensure the work was done properly not COK. All COK checks is that the engineer signed off on it. If that slope was engineered it was an engineer who inspected it and signed off on it, not COK.


When development or building permits are applied for anywhere in the municipality the CoK can legally request a geotech survey. This is because the area is either alluvial in nature or on a slope exceeding normally accepted grades for development.

If the CoK misses something during the inspection they partially or fully liable , but still liable.

When it comes to geotech surveys/reports they are just that surveys and reports. The engineer makes a report of the present conditions and may contain recommendations for remedial work needed for development/construction to take place at some future time. The geotech report writer very very rarely, if ever, does a site visit during construction as they were paid to report on conditions prior to development/construction. Structural engineering documents should not be confused with with a geotech surveys/reports as one deals with actual construction and one deals with conditions prior to construction. Once signed and presented a geotech report becomes part of the applied for development/building permit process which the CoK is responsible to see is strictly followed.
If the geotech report does not note any conditions which require remediation then liability for a slide is with the firm who presented the report, but as previously noted engineers like to cover their butts so such reports usually contain some form of remedial work to be done if development/building is planned in the future.
Engineers in the private sector are usually very careful and detailed in order to cover their butts as it is their own reputation, that of their firm or their insurers money they are dealing with. Public sector employees (CoK) are no where near as diligent as its is not their own money they are playing with but to them just the monopoly money of anonymous taxpayers and they are secure in knowing their union will protect their jobs even if they screw up.

Doesn't matter how you slice it if there is a slide on developed property within the municipalities boundaries the CoK has some, if not all, liability.

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Re: Slide event

Postby TylerM4 » Jan 13th, 2021, 11:00 am

So we now appear to be in agreement that CoK can't randomly request geotechnical engineering. It's only is certain pre-documented situations they can require it.

You're contradicting yourself a little by agreeing that the engineer could be at fault, but later on you still claim CoK will have most if not all liability. Ever wonder why they require an engineer? It's so they aren't liable!

The engineer can choose to skip inspection sure. That'd be very stupid of him/her as they're liable for it tho. Again - if an engineer signs off on it he/she accepts ALL RESPONSIBILITY. This is literally what the signoff process is for.

Sorry, gotta call BS on your assertion that engineers rarely inspect. Let me share my experience with getting a slope engineered (retaining wall). I had to get the wall itself engineered by a structural engineer. That structural engineer put a disclaimer on his design saying "Assumes no non-standard soil conditions exist". Disclaimer automatically triggered a requirement for a geotechnical engineer to assess to confirm "no non-standard soil conditions". Once a Geotech is involved, he's responsible for all aspects of slope/soil not just to confirm that the soil is good. The engineer (or an agent acting on behalf of the engineer) visited my property no less that 3 times:
1st time: To view the lot, and do some soil samples/tests.
2nd time: To review the excavation, compaction, etc.
3rd time: To review the backfilling, final grade, etc.

3 visits and no less than 2 inspections for a 6' high retaining wall, but you're saying they won't inspect for an entire development? Forgive me if I'm skeptical based both on my experience, and the fact that they're liable should it fail.

Do you have experience pulling a permit that requires geotechnical engineering? I'm curious as to where your knowledge comes from as it's very different than my experiences. Both with structural and geotechnical engineering.
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Re: Slide event

Postby cv23 » Jan 13th, 2021, 1:16 pm

So we now appear to be in agreement that CoK can't randomly request geotechnical engineering. It's only is certain pre-documented situations they can require it.

You're contradicting yourself a little by agreeing that the engineer could be at fault, but later on you still claim CoK will have most if not all liability. Ever wonder why they require an engineer? It's so they aren't liable!

The engineer can choose to skip inspection sure. That'd be very stupid of him/her as they're liable for it tho. Again - if an engineer signs off on it he/she accepts ALL RESPONSIBILITY. This is literally what the signoff process is for.

Sorry, gotta call BS on your assertion that engineers rarely inspect. Let me share my experience with getting a slope engineered (retaining wall). I had to get the wall itself engineered by a structural engineer. That structural engineer put a disclaimer on his design saying "Assumes no non-standard soil conditions exist". Disclaimer automatically triggered a requirement for a geotechnical engineer to assess to confirm "no non-standard soil conditions". Once a Geotech is involved, he's responsible for all aspects of slope/soil not just to confirm that the soil is good. The engineer (or an agent acting on behalf of the engineer) visited my property no less that 3 times:
1st time: To view the lot, and do some soil samples/tests.
2nd time: To review the excavation, compaction, etc.
3rd time: To review the backfilling, final grade, etc.

3 visits and no less than 2 inspections for a 6' high retaining wall, but you're saying they won't inspect for an entire development? Forgive me if I'm skeptical based both on my experience, and the fact that they're liable should it fail.

Do you have experience pulling a permit that requires geotechnical engineering? I'm curious as to where your knowledge comes from as it's very different than my experiences. Both with structural and geotechnical engineering.


Actually my business was involved in the structural engineered portion of construction in Kelowna for almost 30 years before I sold and retired so I am VERY aware of the process on hundreds, if not thousands, of very varied circumstances, not just a single retaining wall.
You are continuing to confuse a geotech survey/report with a actual "construction" engineering. Sure your "construction" engineer did site visits during "construction" just as a structural engineer would during the "construction" process. You never saw a geotech engineer on site prior to them being called in specifically to deal with the soil being disturbed by something being built requiring "construction" engineering.
You clearly have noticed that engineers cover their butts if not with disclaimers but also by shifting possible liability to others outside of their own area of expertise/involvement. On the retaining wall you built your "construction" engineer tried to limit/shift a portion of his/her liability onto a geotech engineer and that geotech engineer shifted it right back onto the construction engineer by making him design and build to the conditions created during the "construction" process. In the end unless the "construction" engineer can prove the geotech engineer at fault in some way the liability is on the "construction" engineer.

So who do think is responsible/liable if there is no geotech report/survey requested or required by the CoK. If something gets built and it fails there is someone to blame. Once the CoK accepts payment, isssues permits and does inspections they are accepting at the very least a portion of the liability.

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Re: Slide event

Postby TylerM4 » Jan 13th, 2021, 1:59 pm

cv23 wrote:You are continuing to confuse a geotech survey/report with a actual "construction" engineering. Sure your "construction" engineer did site visits during "construction" just as a structural engineer would during the "construction" process. You never saw a geotech engineer on site prior to them being called in specifically to deal with the soil being disturbed by something being built requiring "construction" engineering.
You clearly have noticed that engineers cover their butts if not with disclaimers but also by shifting possible liability to others outside of their own area of expertise/involvement. On the retaining wall you built your "construction" engineer tried to limit/shift a portion of his/her liability onto a geotech engineer and that geotech engineer shifted it right back onto the construction engineer by making him design and build to the conditions created during the "construction" process. In the end unless the "construction" engineer can prove the geotech engineer at fault in some way the liability is on the "construction" engineer.

I'm not confusing the two at all. There's a report on soil conditions and slope stability, and then there's engineering requirements after it's been determined that "standard code/build" isn't enough and it needs to be engineered.

There is no such thing as a "construction engineer" tho. Why are you using such confusing terminology? Yes, they're worried about liability - that's because the city refuses to assume it and they must either accept that liability or shift it onto someone else. Big part of the reason why their services cost so much, they must assume a large amount of liability.[/quote]

cv23 wrote:So who do think is responsible/liable if there is no geotech report/survey requested or required by the CoK. If something gets built and it fails there is someone to blame. Once the CoK accepts payment, isssues permits and does inspections they are accepting at the very least a portion of the liability.


There's not a black and white answer to this one. If there was no indication that the slope was unstable, or any other trigger that would normally initiate a survey/report is required then an individual can attempt to hold COK liable but it'd be a tough sell. But if the opposite were true, absolutely they could be found at least partially liable.

You seem to be focusing on the initial survey but there's much more at play here. Significant slope/regrading work ALWAYS requires engineering, as would be the case here. This isn't a case of "they built on bad land". A Geotech would have been involved in that regrading work, including the inspections, etc. So even if the initial land survey was missed/skipped a Geotech would still have been involved in the slope design, inspection, etc. and could still hold the lions share of liability if it were to fail as a result of poor engineering or a deficiency that should have been caught during inspections.
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Re: Slide event

Postby cv23 » Jan 13th, 2021, 3:10 pm

TylerM4 wrote:I'm not confusing the two at all. There's a report on soil conditions and slope stability, and then there's engineering requirements after it's been determined that "standard code/build" isn't enough and it needs to be engineered.
There is no such thing as a "construction engineer" tho. Why are you using such confusing terminology? Yes, they're worried about liability - that's because the city refuses to assume it and they must either accept that liability or shift it onto someone else. Big part of the reason why their services cost so much, they must assume a large amount of liability.
There's not a black and white answer to this one. If there was no indication that the slope was unstable, or any other trigger that would normally initiate a survey/report is required then an individual can attempt to hold COK liable but it'd be a tough sell. But if the opposite were true, absolutely they could be found at least partially liable.

You seem to be focusing on the initial survey but there's much more at play here. Significant slope/regrading work ALWAYS requires engineering, as would be the case here. This isn't a case of "they built on bad land". A Geotech would have been involved in that regrading work, including the inspections, etc. So even if the initial land survey was missed/skipped a Geotech would still have been involved in the slope design, inspection, etc. and could still hold the lions share of liability if it were to fail as a result of poor engineering or a deficiency that should have been caught during inspections.



Truer words were never spoken:
So you're saying It's better to trust random people on the internet? Thanks but no.
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Re: Slide event

Postby 60-YEARS-in-Ktown » Jan 13th, 2021, 3:37 pm

Is this really a slide ? Or is it a small area slumped. . Let's keep an eye on it ?
Just wondering ? :135:
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Re: Slide event

Postby dodgerdodge » Jan 13th, 2021, 7:08 pm

60-YEARS-in-Ktown wrote:Is this really a slide ? Or is it a small area slumped. . Let's keep an eye on it ?
Just wondering ? :135:

One would assume it's a non event judging by the lack of any update on the story. Castanet reporter got another more important lead, "crash slows Harvey" :biggrin: This is a daily event!
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Re: Slide event

Postby lesliepaul » Jan 13th, 2021, 7:33 pm

How much insurance (liability) does the City of Kelowna carry?
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Re: Slide event

Postby vegas1500 » Jan 13th, 2021, 8:04 pm

Happened in Edmonton years ago. A few multi million dollar homes slid into the river. No Insurance and city washed their hands of it. Probably still in the courts.
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Re: Slide event

Postby JJetson65 » Jan 14th, 2021, 2:32 pm

More of the slope has come down - fence now hanging... I am sure they are waiting for slope action to stop. Weather will be a factor - wet will not help - need that soil to dry up. Then what ??
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Re: Slide event

Postby GordonH » Jan 19th, 2021, 9:28 pm

bumped up

New owner would be foolish not to know the history of the property they purchased.
https://www.castanet.net/news/Kelowna/3 ... 22-million
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Re: Slide event

Postby cv23 » Jan 20th, 2021, 3:29 pm

JJetson65 wrote:More of the slope has come down - fence now hanging... I am sure they are waiting for slope action to stop. Weather will be a factor - wet will not help - need that soil to dry up. Then what ??


Was this slippage originally taking place on the boulevard(civic property) and expanded to include private property, originally on one piece of private property and expanded to another piece of private property or only taking place on one piece of private property?
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Re: Slide event

Postby JJetson65 » Jan 21st, 2021, 8:56 am

Not sure where their property line is... there are 2 chain link fences... the lower 1 was impact on the original movement.
Slide has now consumed into their yard. There is a pool there. As shared earlier, this land was pushed into place to accommodate the building. I thought Allen blocking would have been done or at least some drainage piping...... should be a long painful road for the homeowners. This happened on Mountain ave at the West end and it took years to come to some sort of conclusion for the owners.........Unless they can secure some kind of walling - there is a pond beneath them that has always been there which makes you wonder where that water comes from.... hmmmmmmmm
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Re: Slide event

Postby common_sense_guy » Jan 21st, 2021, 9:05 am

I'm sure had they done a little research and found a good plant with strong deep root system they could have maybe planted that on the exposed slope a long time ago to help retain everything
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