LETTER: Fences and gates on dike not how it was supposed to be

Editor:

Re: Stan Kirkpatrick’s letter to the editor, Sept. 12, 2019

Stan is 100 per cent correct in his observations and it is hard to believe this situation has been allowed to continue over the years.

The Coquihalla River has a habit of providing flooding risk on a fairly regular basis. Years ago, therefore certain locations were identified and residents at-risk were approached and advised a dike was necessary to adequately protect their properties.

This was understood and welcome at the time, but in order to assist with construction costs, a levy per household was applied, to be cared for annually via an addition to the regular annual residential tax.

This seemed an acceptable solution to an ongoing concern but at no time was it indicated by the District that the dike ownership would then revert to the homeowner.

However, since that time, owners backing onto the dike have privately taken steps to completely close off public access by erecting fencing and locked gates.

I have personally tried on occasion to walk that route, and been met with open hostility and outright threats from homeowners who refuse to accept the dike is public domain and not just there for their own personal use.

They have a perfect right to normal privacy and the clear option is for them to erect privacy fencing on their own land which is all other homeowners elsewhere are obligated to do.

My understanding also is that ready dike access must be available at all times in case of emergency. How is this possible with fencing and locked gates in evidence?

Mr. Mayor, may I suggest you take a stroll along the dike sooner than later, and maybe appreciate Mr. Kirkpatrick’s very sound views. Then act with due diligence and correct this unacceptable situation once and for all.

Wes Chaulk

Hopian

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