Residents in West Kelowna neighborhood elated neighbour’s unsightly yard finally getting cleaned up

An unsightly West Kelowna property is finally getting a much-needed clean-up.

For months, the front and back yards of the home on Applegreen Court has looked more like a mini landfill than green space.

Next-door neighbour Laura Campbell said the property has been in an unsightly state for about a year.

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She said the mess includes all kinds of things, from piles of garbage bags and renovation material to furniture and clothing.

Campbell said not only is the property an eyesore but poses safety risks.

“I’m sick of living like this,” she told Global News. “There are little kids that live right next to us. There is a refrigerator out front and garbage and we have a huge rat problem so that is a problem right there too…it is a huge issue and I don’t want to have to deal with anymore.”

Campbell said it’s especially frustrating anytime there is any wind.

“I am always having to pick stuff up. When the wind blows it comes into my yard. I’m always picking up beer cans, and garbage you name it,” she says. “The stuff just blows from their yard into mine and I am just sick of having to deal with it.”

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Kevin Zacharias lives on the other side of the messy property. He too is tired of the constant mess.

“Oh it’s really frustrating, obviously we want it cleaned up and the sooner the better,” he said. “It’s really upsetting, we need it dealt with.”

The property owners were not happy to see Global News in the neighborhood.

“Can you shut the camera off me please.” the female resident of the home shouted at Global News. “Can you shut that f*****g camera off of me please.”

The male resident told Global News that the property was left in shambles because of sickness.

“Because people were f*****g sick. There were people sick in the family, don’t you get that,” he said.

When Global News asked whether he understood why neighbors were upset, he said, “Well they won’t be in an hour so who gives a s**t, your story is f*****g pointless.”

While neighbors were skeptical about the promise to clean up the property Tuesday morning, a dump truck did arrive while Global News was on site.

Neighbors were shocked.

‘I think it is a miracle,” said Campbell. “I think they will finally do something, I am so impressed.”

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The clean-up comes after numerous visits from City of West Kelowna bylaw officers and a fine that was issued earlier in the year.

The fine was ignored so the city took further action issuing an order to clean up on June 2.

In an email to Global News, a city spokesperson said the following:

“The fine did not achieve compliance so, on June 2, bylaw gave the homeowner an order directing that the property is to be cleaned in 14 days or the city, through a contractor, will clean up the property and bill the homeowner for the cost. If the homeowner does not pay the bill, the cost will be put on the property taxes.” Kirtsen Jones wrote.

When asked why it took so long to force the residents to clean up the property, Jones said there is a process in place that the city must follow.

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“There are steps that are taken, with time given for people to comply,” she said. “We always want people to voluntarily comply, but not everyone does, despite assurances given to bylaw that they will. Unfortunately, like in this case, bylaw is forced to elevate the matter to an Order to ensure compliance.”

Even though residents said this clean-up is long overdue, they are relieved it’s finally being done.

“We’re just happy to clean it up,” neighbor Nancy Nickel said. “We just want it to look nice around here.”