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Neighbours divided over retaining wall

‘There’s this dirt water that runs down the wall’
Bruno Infanti stands in front of the retaining wall his neighbours built last December. The Port Coquitlam resident says the water runoff from the recently raised property floods his land.

A Port Coquitlam homeowner says he’s frustrated after his neighbours raised their lot level and built a 12-foot tall retaining wall, a structure he says is not only an eyesore but creates water runoff.

Bruno Infanti said his complaints about the massive wall — which went up late last year, after his neighbours on Lobb Avenue rebuilt the house — and drainage problems are falling on deaf ears.

And he said he’s been forced to hire a lawyer to find “an amicable resolution” on the matter.

“Every time it rains or they turn on their sprinkler, I’m worried about flooding,” Infanti said during a tour of his backyard this month. “There’s this dirt water that runs down the wall. It looks awful.”

Infanti contacted the city’s building division in January after the city finished the final inspections for the permits of the new home and wall at 2226 Lobb Ave., said building manager Shawn Hagan.

Plans, letters of assurance and field reviews from a registered professional engineer are on file for the wall, which is built on the neighbour’s lot and is set back 0.58 metres from the property line.

Although it’s built to standard, Hagan said city staff have visited the site to see the problem itself.

Their conclusion? The new paved driveway — at the back of the neighbour’s property — is sloped, pushing water over the edge and not toward the trench drain, located in front of the garage door.

“Staff have spoken with the contractor on record for the permit and suggested that they may wish to take steps to reduce the opportunity for water to flow over the top of the wall,” he said.

In the meantime, Infanti has tried to install drainage pipes, where much of the water is entering through a crack in the concrete wall, to push the excess away from his home, but to no avail.

He’s also had unsuccessful attempts to solve the matter with listed householder, Rupinder Thind (a request for comment from Thind was not returned last week).

“It’s unacceptable that a neighbour can do this,” Infanti said, “because It has devalued my home.”