Regional District of North Okanagan questioned over fence

The Regional District of North Okanagan is under fire for a neighbourhood dispute in the BX.

Ernie Sollid has lost access to his home on Spalding Road because 30 feet of the driveway is on his neighbour’s property and the site has been fenced off.

“The regional district sees it as not their problem and the Ministry of Transportation sees it as not their problem so we’re at a stalemate,” said Sollid.

The subdivision was developed in 1980 and Sollid, who bought his home in 1988, questions why RDNO approved the layout.

“If you look at the map where the house is located, the driveway is clearly shown that it goes across private land,” he said.

Sollid is pushing RDNO to get directly involved so the current conflict can be resolved.

“I’d like to see them organize an easement,” he said of providing him legal access to his neighbour’s land.

Sollid says he wasn’t aware his driveway was on private land when he bought the house.

Mike, who owns the property the driveway sits on, says a map he has seen indicates Sollid’s driveway was supposed to be in a different location.

“I went to the regional district and asked why his driveway was on my property. There was no answer to that,” he said.

Mike isn’t sure if RDNO has a role to play in resolving the dispute.

“Something has to be done because this doesn’t work the way it is,” he said.

According to the regional district, what is now driveway on Mike’s land was supposed to become public road in the 1980s.

A building permit was issued for what is now Sollid’s home based on the prospect of a new road and access also being possible from Spalding Road.

“There doesn’t appear to be inappropriate action by either authority,” said Trafford Hall, RDNO administrator, of the regional district or Ministry of Transportation.

The current problem is a result of the proposed road never being constructed because the developer of the subdivision abandoned his plans.

In 2009, RDNO approved a building permit for  Mike’s house and driveway access met all necessary regulations.

Hall says Sollid could move his driveway or both parties could negotiate a settlement, but the regional district will not get involved.

“We would not assume a responsibility on behalf of taxpayers we don’t have,” he said.

“It’s really a civil matter between the two neighbours.”

Mike defends his decision to install the fence.

“I told them a year ago I was going to put a fence up because I have a dog to keep in,” he said, adding he is responsible for snow removal and insurance for the site.

Sollid, who says he may relocate his driveway to an area where his septic field is, admits he was told a fence may go up.

“I never in my wildest dreams thought that would be possible,” he said.


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