Chilliwack residents Chris and Sheila Denis say “tensions are high” in their Little Mountain neighbourhood where rock blasting has been underway for months to carve out a new development on the hillside.
The couple is staying home during the pandemic, as per the advice from the provincial health officer, and can’t escape the construction-related disruptions the way they normally would.
“We think it is unconscionable that the developer would be doing rock hammering and blasting during this time and that the City of Chilliwack would allow it,” said Sheila Denis, who explained their home is next door to the blasting site.
The developer is putting in 50 new homes into the Little Mountain neighbourhood of about 135 existing homes.
The couple’s anxiety and frustration level is “through the roof” at this point, and Denis said she was going to head outside and stand on her property with a sign that reads: “Shameful.”
“To me this story is about how people cannot consider other people at this time. We are self isolating in our house,” Denis underlined. They think the developer should be willing to shut down the blasting and rock operations temporarily.
Another neighbour, Randy Regier, a resident of the nearby Stonegate Place, said that flying rock led to a stop work order by Work Safe B.C. and a revoked blasting permit temporarily.
“It’s been an absolute nightmare in my opinion,” said Regier, adding that they’re in the midst of a legal process. “My house is sitting on part of the rock that they’re blasting.”
He said the use of expanding grout would be a much safer approach than the blasting.
Overall the neighbourhood has been “completely disregarded” by the developer in terms of noise and overall disturbance, although the noise has lessened since the stop work order was issued, he said.
A City of Chilliwack rep said the blasting parameters being used by the developer “are currently well within” bylaw limits, and the city has no authority to stop blasting.
But after reading about how local developers Algra Brothers shut down their construction sites including downtown Chilliwack, Denis said she felt the decision was made with “a conscience” during these uncertain times.
“I applaud them. We understand that the economy must continue as best it can during this unprecedented time.
“We understand that construction must and should continue during this time, but blasting in residential areas when we have nowhere to escape to, in our opinion is unthinkable.”
Denis said she hopes they can get a reprieve and some respite.
The developer, Patrick J. Logelin, did not return a call from The Progress.
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