The sound of excavators and twisting metal squealed on Saturday afternoon as a notorious Penticton property was demolished.
On Nov. 19, city council ordered the owner of the condemned property to remediate the site or demolish it by Dec. 31. If the property owner failed to comply, the city said it would pursue legal action by obtaining an injunction in BC Supreme Court.
“It’s going to end the neighbourhood problems that’s for sure,” said one neighbour.
“Just a lot of transient activity, people coming and going, trying to stay there. Over the last year there has been multiple break ins and the city has come back and re secured, it was just an ongoing problem,” he added.
A report penned by bylaw services supervisor Tina Siebert and building and permitting manager Ken Kunka said the dwelling and shed at 377 Winnipeg Street should be declared a nuisance because the buildings are dilapidated, unclean and offensive to the community.
“Staff considers that this nuisance condition discourages economic development and negatively impacts neighboring property values,” the report stated.
“Derelict or vacant properties project a negative image of the city, impacting tourism, investment in business and development, and new resident attraction.”
The property has been the subject of enforcement action since 2011. The property owner owes the city $4,120.37 in outstanding fines and fees.
Over the past eight years, the property has been the subject of 68 complaints ranging from dogs, unsightliness and snow removal to nuisance issues and drug activity, according to the city.
On Aug. 15, 2018, tenants were evicted and the building has been boarded up ever since. At the time, the tenants told bylaw officers they were residing in the home without power or plumbing.
On Oct. 16, 2018, the city’s property use-license inspector mailed a letter to the property owner ordering them to bring the structures up to standard or pay all outstanding fees and penalties owed to the city and demolish the building. The report said the owner failed to comply.
Staff continued to receive complaints from the community and consistently attended to inspect and often re-secure the house since there was no action being taken by the property owner, according to the staff report.
The report also notes the property owner has a history of building and bylaw infractions over the past eight years.
In 2012, the owner allegedly failed to take remedial action to demolish a building damaged by fire at 287 Basset Street.
In 2014, the BC Fire Commissioner ordered an evacuation and instated a no-occupancy order at the Three Gables Motel due to the building’s condition and fire risk.
The report notes that municipalities have the power under the Community Charter to undertake remedial action if not carried out within the time set by a council resolution.
The city would recover outstanding fines from the owner’s property taxes, according to the report.
“Without any resulting action from the property owner, staff have exhausted all efforts and are prepared to proceed to injunctive action,” the report stated.
The property owner was given until Dec. 31 at 4:30 p.m. to pay all outstanding amounts owing to the city and obtain “and successfully complete” a building permit to demolish.
It is not known if the fines and fees have been paid.
“It’s finally closure that should have be done a long time ago,” the neighbour said.