WINDSOR, ONT. -- Property owners along Erie Shore Drive and members of the Erie Shore Drive Property Owners Association (ESDPOA) have initiated legal action against Chatham-Kent over shoreline costs.

The group said they have paid for shoreline costs for decades that they believe should be the responsibility of the municipality.

The application was brought by the Erie Shore Drive property owners under section 79 of the Drainage Act.

More than 80 members of the association are seeking damages from the municipality for allegedly breaching their obligation under the Act, causing the members to have to bear the costs of repairing shoreline protection for the last several decades.

Under section 79, the members are also requesting that the shoreline protection be repaired.

“The dyke beneath Erie Shore Drive and the shoreline protection were built under the Drainage Act, placing an obligation on the municipality to maintain both. Unfortunately, that maintenance has not been completed by the municipality resulting in significant risks of flooding and destruction to the properties along the shoreline” said Terra Cadeau, president of the ESDPOA.

Cadeau said residents have been forced to spend large sums of our own money to pay the astronomical costs of protecting the shoreline.

“Bringing this Application is our last option, but we have no alternative,” said Cadeau. “We cannot and should not be forced to continue to pay for what Chatham-Kent and all those who benefit from the drainage works are legally required to pay for.”

The property owners along Erie Shore Drive said they understand and fully accept that owning waterfront property comes with a cost but they claim this is not a typical shoreline issue.

The municipality confirmed Wednesday that it has been served with a legal action by the Erie Shore Drive Property Owners Association.

“As this is an active legal matter, the Municipality will not be providing any further comment at this time,” said a statement from the municipality.

This is a developing story. More coming.