City accused of dumping on residents

A group of Copper Ridge residents are taking the city to court for damages caused by snow piled near their properties a year ago.

A group of Copper Ridge residents are taking the city to court for damages caused by snow piled near their properties a year ago.

During the winter of 2008, the city used vacant commissioner’s land near Drift Drive as a dumping ground for snow cleared from nearby city streets.

The pile, 300 metres southwest of the four properties, caused water damage to nearby homes, according to a statement of claim filed last week with the Yukon Supreme Court. The snowpile was an accumulation of about 340 to 450 dump truck loads of snow.

During the spring melt in 2009, large quantities of meltwater seeped into the Drift Drive properties, causing damage to drywall, insulation, and foundations.

The five homeowners named in the lawsuit as well as the Whitehorse Condominium Corporation, which housed two of the properties, want compensation from the city.

One of the homeowners discovered extensive damage to her property last September while preparing the land to build a home.

The water damage required her to install a retaining wall, excavate the building site and increase the grade of her home, according to the statement of claim.

She also had to install drains and geo-textiles on her property.

Last September, the city responded to the concerns of the Drift Drive residents.

It admitted the snow dump was responsible for causing water damage to nearby homes. It also asked the residents to submit receipts so they could be reimbursed for the damages caused by the melting snow pile.

This past winter, the city moved the snow dump pile away from the Drift Drive homes.

But the residents pushed ahead with a lawsuit, anyhow, claiming the city failed to meet a necessary standard of care by placing a snow dump where they must have known the water would eventually seep into their homes.

The statement of claim did not explain why the residents pressed for a lawsuit when the city had offered to compensate them.

City operations manager Brian Crist offered an explanation.

The city met with the residents and agreed to submit their claims to the city’s insurance company, he said.

“The (insurance company) did an investigation and they indicated that there was no evidence the city caused the damage.”

He hesitated to comment further as the case is before court.

The Drift Drive residents refused comment for the story, as did their lawyer, Kyle Corruthers. No court date has been set for the case.

Contact Vivian Belik at