Kurt Feltrin – Lake Cowichan, BC – Trails Edge Development / Finning Canada

If you’re looking for information about Kurt Feltrin – one of the developers of Trails Edge in Lake Cowichan and sales rep for Finning Canada – you should hear our story….


It all started when my wife and I bought a corner lot in Trails Edge, a new development in Lake Cowichan. That’s when we had our first unfortunate encounter with Kurt Feltrin from Element Developments.

First, some background info about Kurt and Trails Edge Development in Lake Cowichan, BC…..

Kurt has two other partners, the ones with the real experience in moving dirt and building houses. There’s Sean Tisdall of Cat’s Eye Contracting and Martin Schenk from Eagle Pacific Developments.

Kurt is the guy that pushes papers and since he’s the one that lives in Lake Cowichan (the other two are out of Victoria), he’s the one of the three developers that deals with the town on approvals, bylaws, permits etc. And to our dismay, he’s also the guy that deals directly with anyone who buys a lot in Trails Edge.

Onto Our Nightmare of Dealing with Kurt Feltrin…..

We bought a lot in Trails Edge and were ready to build our dream home. Little did we know what awaited us having to deal with Kurt Feltrin, one of the developers behind the development.

It became clear from the getgo that Kurt was going to be extremely difficult to deal with. This was confirmed after talking to neighbours and realtors about their experience dealing with Kurt, and then by our own dealings with this man. The first signs of trouble came after our builder had finished building the wood forms for the foundation of our new house. This is the step before actually pouring the concrete foundation for the house. Unknown to us, our builder neglected to submit our house plans to the developers and only submitted the plans to the town (which were approved). That’s what started the ball rolling downhill.

At that point, the main road on one side of our lot was paved but the smaller side road wasn’t paved. And because it was in a future phase of the project (it’s phase 5 when they are currently selling phase 3), they didn’t want to have to pay to pave the road. And so they refused and told us that we’d have to tear out the foundation forms and get our designer to design new house plans that had the driveway facing the main road.

THEY TOLD US TO TEAR DOWN OUR FOUNDATION FORMS

We already had approval from the town with the house plans below with the front door and garage facing the smaller street (as its supposed to since the address is on that small street).


Because of the pushback from the developers, we had already spoken to the town about the layout of our house, which street our address was on (the smaller, unpaved street) and whether any house plans where the driveway facing the main street would work. The town affirmed that no other plans would be approved for our uniquely shaped lot, and even sent an email telling us that the developers need to pave the road in front of our house. But the developers still refused.


EMAIL FROM TOWN’S SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

Sept 2, 2022: Email from the town’s Superintendant of Public Works to me regarding the road:

“I spoke My boss today , he agrees the road is to be completed . We have asked the developer to have it completed by November 20, 2022”


I then forwarded that email off to all three of the developers and this was the reply from Sean Tisdall:

“Our engineer has been dealing with the town on this and my Partner Kurt has more info. 250-709-3838

You may want to hold off on pour as we will not be held responsible as I remind you your plan was not submitted for approval by us. Sean”



Our response to that email:

“I called Kurt yesterday and left a message and I just called him again today and left another message.

The only reason that I can fathom for you telling me to hold off on the pour is that you plan on fighting the town on putting a road beside my lot.

This has gone beyond my builder not submitting the plans to you at the outset. This is about you guys selling a lot where you had no intention of putting a road and not disclosing it to me, the buyer. As I told you on the phone when we spoke of this two weeks ago, I had the option to choose the lot I wanted and I chose that lot was because of the privacy it awarded. Never was I told that there wouldn’t be a road put there. Had I been told, I would simply have chosen another lot.

The only thing that would have changed had my builder sent in the plans earlier is that we’d be sitting at this very point earlier. The town would still be telling you to put a road there.

I am not going to build a house on a corner lot with no road on one side. We’re already in a challenging real estate market and that would kill my resale value and my ability to sell my house as there are many choices for buyers to choose from.

These delays have already cost me many thousands of dollars and I’m bleeding money each and every day that passes. It is now September and my builder is worried that if we don’t start the build in the next week, that he won’t have enough time to finish the build before the winter. And that would end up costing me tens of thousands of dollars more in lending fees on top of the money I’ve already put out getting to this stage and pre-ordering all the materials.

What exactly does that mean that you won’t be held responsible if we pour the foundation? Responsible for what?


At this point, our builder has sent our (town approved) house plans to Kurt and the other developers. This is the email that our builder receives back from Kurt.

Lot 32, needs some attention. Since it is a corner lot a side looking elevation cannot be facing a road, it needs to be dressed up. Also I would note the future rd that your driveway is planned to run off will not be built for many years, so not sure how you plan to finish and access the driveway.
Thank you,
Kurt”

Within hours of the above email, we had our designer design new plans with the side of the house dressed up as Kurt asked…but there was still the issue of the driveway and unpaved road.


So with Kurt’s threat that the road won’t be built for years, the builder and I start to think about any other way to appease the developers in an attempt to get us moving forward with our build. Our first thought, which we would need to tear and rebuild the foundation forms to do, was to try the driveway on the other side of the house….but still facing the smaller unpaved road.

The reasoning here was that either the developers wouldn’t have to pave the entire road or if they refused, we wouldn’t have to drive our cars too far down the gravel road to access our driveway.

We don’t get approval from Kurt for the design above and instead he tells us again to tear down and rebuild our foundation forms with the driveway facing the main road.


We couldn’t do anything but wait at this point as we feared that if we poured the foundation and continued with the build, the developers would stop us from building and threaten that we needed to tear the house down. At one point, Kurt says that if we continued with the build as it was, we would then have to drive over our lawn to access our driveway.

Rather than replying to my email above, Kurt and Sean called me to try to convince me to tear down the foundation forms that were already in place for the foundation and put the driveway facing the other street. Even though the town had already told them that our house plans (which had already been approved by the town) were the only plans that were going to fit our lot.

I asked them on that phone call if they had ever sold a corner lot to anyone before that only had a road paved on one side. Nope.

THE CALL AND THE STANDOFF

I ended that call telling them that I was going to get the town to force them to pave the road.

So even though the developers had been told already by the town that they had to pave the road in front of our house.

THEY STILL FOUGHT IT AND TOLD US THEY WOULDN’T PAVE THE ROAD!!

We tried to appease the developers and just wanted to move forward and so, even though we knew the town wouldn’t approve any other house plans, we still went ahead and got our designer to alter the plans – just so we could tell them that we submitted them and the Town didn’t approve them! We tried so many different ways to try to work with Kurt Feltrin and the other two developers, paying our designer for every change of the house plans, trying to be as accommodating as possible.

So, once again, we order new house plans – this time with the driveway facing the main road – and submit them to the developers. Of course, the developers approve those plans and say go ahead with the build….but now we need the town’s approval of the new plans.

So we send the above plans to the city….and of course, as we knew they would, the town rejects the plans and says there is no room to put a driveway on that side and reiterates that the only plans that will work were the original ones we submitted many many months earlier.

BACK TO SQUARE ONE

At this point, our only option was to try get the town to force them to pave the road in front of our house. After much back and forth between us, the town and the developers, the town finally laid down the law and gave them an ultimatum that if they didn’t pave the road, the town wouldn’t approve their permits to continue with Phase 3 of the development.

It was only at that point that Kurt et al finally conceded and reluctantly (only half) paved the road in front of our house. It’s still not fully paved, missing another inch of pavement but it’s certainly a lot better than the gravel road that used to be there.

APPROVAL FROM KURT – OUR HOUSE PLANS FINALLY GET THE GO AHEAD!!

On Aug 10th, 2022 Kurt conceded and sent a text to the Superindendent of Public Works for Lake Cowichan, telling him to go ahead and let me know that he approves our original house plans and we can now move forward with pouring our foundation and finishing building our house. All of that time and money wasted….and for what?

SO MUCH WASTED TIME AND MONEY

In the wake of this long overdue resolution, we were left grappling with significant financial burdens and unrelenting stress. The real estate market had taken a turn for the worse, interest rates were doubling and tripling, and here we were waiting and waiting to be able to continue our build – all the while, paying interest every day on our construction loan. Regretably, no compensation ever graced our doorstep, leaving us to bear the brunt of these unforeseen costs alone.

And so we thought the nightmare was over…..

But no. When the time came to request the return of our $5,000 landscaping/build deposit once our house and landscaping had been finished, we got another slap in the face and wallet.

I sent an email on Oct 10, 2023 to Kurt Feltrin, asking for the return of our $5,000 deposit. After no response after 10 days, I followed up with another email and this time Kurt responded by telling us that that our deposit had been swallowed by the costs of the unplanned and unbudgeted road extension, a callous disregard for our contractual agreement and a blatant display of disrespect for their moral and legal responsibilities.

KURT REFUSES TO GIVE BACK OUR $5,000 DEPOSIT

This was Kurt’s email reply to my 2nd request for our $5k landscaping deposit back:

“Thanks for the reminder. Unfortunately you never submitted your plans for review. Once you were ready to pour foundation we reached out. We would never approved those plans with unbuilt side road entrance. Your deposit has gone towards the 85k extension we never planned or budgeted towards.

Thank you.”

So here he goes again about not submitting house plans which is absolutely untrue.

We actually submitted many versions of house plans and then the town of Lake Cowichan forced Kurt Feltrin, Sean Tisdall and Martin Schenk of Element Developments to approve our original house plans.

This was my response on Nov 23, 2023 to his email above:

I have CC’d Martin and Sean on this thread so everyone’s in on the conversation.

First things first, there’s no way that I’m going to stand by and let you steal my $5k deposit.

You said you reached out when we were ready to pour foundation and what? Once our foundation forms were built, we had to wait until the city forced you to add the road before we proceeded with the pour. Even if my builder had submitted the plans to you, you would have had to approve the plans the way they are now with the driveway facing Richwood because there was no other layout that the lot could accommodate (so says the town of Lake Cowichan).

You having to put a road out front of my house wasn’t anything to do with my house plans. It has to do with the fact that you don’t sell a corner lot without a road on one side. More than that, however, is the fact that the city would never have approved the driveway on the other side. I know because I asked [Lake Cowichan building inspector] directly about the possibility of moving the driveway to Driftwood once it became clear that you weren’t going to put the road there voluntarily. Dennis said that having the driveway off of Driftwood would never get approved by the city because there wasn’t enough room with the setbacks for a driveway on that side. And if we did, then we’d look like the idiots in the neighbourhood that have a driveway and front door off one side of the house but the address is on the other street. Real fun for deliveries too….

It was the city that made you put a road there Kurt. In fact, here’s the email to me from [Superintendent of Public Works] in that regard:

“The Town has requested the Developer of Trails Edge subdivision to complete the section of XXXXXX along the side of your lot. This will include water ,sanitary storm ,curb, sidewalk and paving.”

If you want to chase after the city for the 85k that it cost you to put a road beside my house, go for it.

But I still want my $5k deposit which has nothing to do with house plans or the city’s decision to make you put a road beside my house.

I waited 14 days and still no response, so I once again send another email letting them know my stance and steps I will take if they don’t give me the $5k deposit they owe me.


Subject: re: unlawful detainment of deposit – final attempt to mitigate damages

It’s been 14 days and no response. I’ll give you guys 14 more days to deposit my $5k deposit back into my bank account. You can deposit the money via email money transfer to this email address.

You have breached our contract. If I don’t see the money in my account at the end of 14 days, I’ll be seeking legal action to recover not just the $5k but also the money that I lost in time delays and interest on borrowed money while you guys battled with the town to avoid building a road in front of my house. 

After that, I’ll tell my story to the Lake Cowichan Gazette. I hear there are plenty of neighbours with their own Kurt stories. 

And then I’m going to tell my story with reviews anywhere and everywhere that I can do so online. 

I DO WHAT I SAID I WOULD DO AND START TELLING MY STORY ONLINE

I didn’t hear anything back by December 15th and so then I did what I said I would do – I left 1-star reviews online for Sean Tisdall and Martin Schenk’s businesses (Kurt works for Finning Canada) and had a website built to tell my Kurt Feltrin + Element Developments story.

Once all the reviews and this site were live, I emailed Kurt with the URLs for this site and the 11 different 1-star reviews for Cat’s Eye Contracting and Eagle Pacific Developments.

WELL, KURT DIDN’T LIKE THAT!!

At that point, do you think Kurt did the right thing and gave me the $5k deposit that he owes me? Nope. He decided instead to pay a lawyer $1k to send me a threat letter that he was going to sue me for libel unless I take all the reviews and this website down.

KURT HIRES LAWYER, THREATENS TO SUE FOR LIBEL

It would have cost him nothing – all he had to do was give me back my $5k deposit, and I would have taken the site and all the reviews down immediately. But instead Kurt decides to take money out of his own pocket and hire a lawyer to try to threaten me into taking down the site.

The thing is that the letter from Kurt’s lawyer doesn’t mention anything about him telling me that my $5k deposit went towards paving the road in front of my house. Why? Because he can’t just keep a deposit and give whatever reason he wants. So the letter mentions the same B.S Kurt’s been spouting this whole time: “…because you didn’t send in your house plans for approval…”

And so then I had to go and hire my own lawyer and consult with two other lawyers to make sure Kurt didn’t have a case.

My cost for lawyers: $1,638.15.

For that amount, I was reassured by 3 separate lawyers that Kurt had no hope in hell of winning a libel case against me and so my lawyer sent his lawyer a nice legal letter telling them to pound sand. And that if they want the site and reviews down, pay the $5k instead of trying to play the scare tactic of threatening a libel suit.

You see, the one defense against libel is…..THE TRUTH! And since everything I have written on this website and in the reviews is the absolute truth, Kurt doesn’t have a hope in hell of winning a libel lawsuit against me. And it would cost him $50-100k+ in lawyer’s retainers to even try.

KURT SPENDS MORE MONEY ON LAWYER LETTERS

Then Kurt pays his lawyer more money to write a follow up letter with his ridiculous demands for me to rip out my fence posts and allow him full access to inspect my house inside and out. And so I need to pay to get my lawyer to send another rebutal letter.

NOW KURT IS COSTING US EVEN MORE MONEY IN LEGAL FEES

Kurt once again chose to reject yet another of our requests to give us our $5k back in exchange for taking all the sites and reviews down.

But while we’re in this standstill (April/May 2024), Kurt shows up in front of my house on 3 separate occasions to dump his lawn waste 20 feet from my home office window. Why? Good question! I guess because Element Developments owns the land, he thinks he can use it for his own private disposal….and just so happened to pick an area that is as close as he can get to my property.

I thought I couldn’t be the only person who has had an “interaction” with this guy. So I started walking around and asking the neighbours about this Feltrin guy. Oh, the stories!

Well, it turns out, its not just me. He’s had run-ins with a handful of neighbours. They tell of stories of them having to fight to get their deposit back or Kurt driving up and down the street, peeling out, or Kurt swearing at them or texting them messages cursing them about some disagreement they had.

AND NOW WHAT?

And so what options do we have at this point? Now, we need to waste more time and money exposing Kurt Feltrin and his two partners, Sean Tisdall of Cats Eye Contracting and Martin Schenk of Eagle Pacific Developments and then taking them to court to try to recoup our money.

Kurt Feltrin and his company, Element Developments’ astonishing lack of integrity and professionalism has left us not only disillusioned but also burdened with overwhelming heartache and stress, and a financial loss over $10k and growing.