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Old 2019-09-09, 09:10 AM
ABoatNerd ABoatNerd is offline
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Default Uniform Grading Errors - Forcing Compliance

A good day everyone in the Ottawa Valley.

I am aware of Tarion.

However, is there any other regulatory body that can force a new home builder to deliver what they are required to under the law?

We, 2 homes, have an issue with Uniform Developments at Richardson Ridge. The builder did not construct our lots (and our other uncooperative neighbours lot) correctly - the grading on the 3 properties is quite incorrect (negative grading at our foundations, slope to backyard edge less than 2% for example), they built a too high foliage berm which blocks surface water from flowing over the retaining wall and on the uncooperative neighbours adjacent lot, there is a non-conforming, excessively high, retaining wall which directs all that properties surface water onto my property. In winter there can be 4 inches of ice water across my backyard.

The official grading plan and details show the lot grading, the slope to the backyard retaining wall, the retaining wall which is lower than the grade. This is designed to allow large volume surface water to flow over the wall, particularly in winter (can't happen due to the higher foliage berm).

The uncooperative neighbours property has the same grading issues but also has the non-conforming, excessively high retaining wall. This occurred because Uniform changed the house from a grade level to a walkout and they did not lower the retaining wall (built first) to conform to the grading plan. So the retaining wall is almost 3 feet higher than the lawn. This neighbours property is walled on 3 sides with the non-conforming retaining wall, foundation and a concrete wall between them and the higher grade neighbour. They have no legal outlet for their surface water. So of course, all their water flows to my property as it is the only area not walled. Uniform Developments sold that property in this configuration.

Uniform is building the correct grading plan with the grade level retaining wall everywhere else in the subdivision.

The City surface water group has inspected and advised the retaining wall must be lowered as it is in violation of the surface water approval plan. The non-conforming retaining wall is in violation of the City's site-alteration and property management bylaws. The grading of all 3 lots and the non-conforming retaining wall is also in violation of the Ontario Building Code

We have issues with the City who allowed all these mistakes to happen and not be rectified before closing, Uniform who made the mistakes and the uncooperative neighbour who does not want the non-conforming retaining wall to be lowered citing "asthetics and privacy".

The City and Uniform provided a solution that was fully compliant but the uncooperative neighbour said no. So the City and Uniform tried to convince us 2 neighbours to accept a workaround involving french drains and an opening in a concrete cap in the retaining wall - sure that will work in the winter right? It also forces the uncooperative neighbours entire side and backyard surface water right up against our property line in a small area. We both said no.

At that point the City and Uniform abandoned us.

Interesting, we did an updated survey and found out that Uniform partially owns the non-conforming retaining wall and after subdivision transfer, the City will be part owner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Very interesting that Uniform and the City have been acting as if the uncooperative neighbour was the sole owner not sure if they were lying to us or that they did not know they both will partly own the non-conforming retaining wall. Hummmmmm

Soooooooooo now our uncooperative neighbour can not solely have control of this issue.

Uniform is in violation of the above referenced laws due to their negliance in construction, but now also as owner of real property.

We have advised Uniform and the City to get off their ass and fix the grading and lower the wall. This includes an order to comply against the uncooperative owners as they are in violation of the building code, the Ottawa bylaws and the subdivision approvals. The City Planning, Infrastructure department have been particularly obstructionist - they allowed the mistakes. They are also not administering the Ontario Bldg Code which is their responsibility and they are intimidating the surface water and bylaw not to take action. We have the Ontario Ombudsman commencing action on the City.

We have sued the uncooperative neighbour for damages. Our solicitor says slam dunk.

We have advised Uniform that we will sue them as well.

Today I am contacting Tarion on behalf of us (have reported the grading and flooding in our 30 day, 1 year, 2 year submissions) and our good neighbour. Will also today will put a complaint into the Ontario Building Code.

This has been going on for over 2 years. Even a smallish rain results in the flooding of our property. We cant do any landscaping. In March the flood water was at our foundation.

We are perplexed why the City will not take action against our obstructionist owner.

We are being treated as the problem, when we did not cause any of the issues.

Does anyone have other suggestions to assist us?

Your advice and expertise would be appreciated.

Thank you kindly!
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Old 2019-09-11, 10:01 AM
OttawaC OttawaC is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Orleans
Posts: 64

What's your solicitor's opinion on your legal options? I would think that the solicitor that you have hired to pursue legal action against your neighbour must have provided you with options? I would think that the easiest and cheapest option is to force the neighbour to comply.
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Old 2019-09-11, 05:01 PM
Halton Home Inspector Halton Home Inspector is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Milton
Posts: 700

Just goes to show - some municipalities are better than others regarding issues like this.

Maybe call the Mayors office or the local counsellor. ( As lame as that sounds )

Maybe there is a local media - help the little guy - person.
For the new home warranty inspection services you need and deserve call Andy Shaw at 905 876 4761
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