Jon Soroczka lives in one of the three 'sinking' homes with his parents Kirsten and Gene. All three families put up large banners this week to draw attention to the situation.

Jon Soroczka lives in one of the three 'sinking' homes with his parents Kirsten and Gene. All three families put up large banners this week to draw attention to the situation.

Homeowners fear homes are sinking

Civil claims filed in court against District of Mission

Emalee Bridger is afraid her house will collapse whenever she hears a creak, feels a vibration, or sees a new crack in a wall.

“Every day I’m scared to be in my house,” said Bridger, who is one of three property owners on Best Avenue with an unstable home.

Her neighbour, Kirsten Soroczka, who lives to the west, agreed there is only so much the pressure that can be put on a house before it comes apart.

“I’m more and more scared every day,” said Soroczka.

Bridger and Soroczka believe their properties are sinking because their homes were built on unstable fill on top of a District of Mission culvert/right of way.

All three families live on the south side of Best Avenue near Cedar Street, and have been trying to work with the District of Mission for the past two years to come up with a settlement. The lack of progress has forced the families to seek court action, said Bridger.

The families are alleging the properties were not properly inspected and the homes should not have been approved for development.

Bridger and her partner Scott Geisser, began noticing their house shift in 2010. The floors tilted, walls cracked and door frames were skewed. There were voids in the crawl space. But it wasn’t until two years later they learned their house was build on a statutory right of way registered to the District of Mission.

Bridger and Geisser discovered the culvert at the land titles office, and said the district didn’t have it on its file when they investigated the property prior to purchasing it in 2006.

In the Soroczka house, bedroom walls on the east side of the house have pulled away from the floor by about two inches even though new flooring was put in a few years ago.

Soroczka noticed the changes in her house in 2011, most notably a dramatic drop in the floor of her garage and the corresponding drop on the floor of her daughter’s bedroom above.

“You can literally put your hand under the adjoining wall,” said Soroczka.

The families contacted the district in 2012 and allowed engineers to conduct numerous tests on their properties to determine what’s in the soil and to locate the culvert.

According to Geisser, crews dug last fall, but the culvert wasn’t discovered until this past spring about six feet away from where the drawing indicated.

“An engineering report said the culvert was decommissioned,” said Geisser, who suspects it has collapsed, creating a “sink hole” underneath his house and causing his neighbours’ house to shift toward his. He plans to uncover the culvert and determine its condition.

“The three families are getting more frustrated,” said Soroczka, who would like the district to take responsibility and buy out their homes.

“These home are not liveable, and we can’t sell it to anybody either because of the instability of the fill,” said Soroczka. “They can’t be rehabilitated.”

“The district is cooperating fully with the homeowners and has conducted a full investigation under the guidance of our insurer and appropriate experts,” said Michael Boronowski, spokesperson for the District of Mission.

As the matter is before the courts, Boronowski declined to provide further comment.

Just Posted

n
Quarry Questions: Supreme Court ruling spells concern for Mission bylaws

Judge ruled that provincial permits overrule municipal bylaws relating to mining activity

column
COLUMN: Permanently scarred or temporarily paranoid

Covid has changed my view on socializing

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

Brandon Hobbs (turquoise shirt), brother of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs, gathers with other family and friends to distribute posters in Chilliwack on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Search efforts expand to Chilliwack and beyond for missing Abbotsford man

Family, friends put up posters in Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope for missing 22-year-old Adam Hobbs

poster
Drop-in Covid vaccine clinic in Mission June 17-18

Neighbourhood clinics complement appointment-based clinics currently operating in Mission

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

Premier of Manitoba Brian Pallister speaks at a news conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski
Provincial leaders want more federal money for health care, plan to meet in fall

Premiers ask Ottawa to increase its share of overall health spending to 35 per cent from 22 per cent

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Most Read