The owners of a Penticton heritage home that was destroyed in a fire have been ordered to clean up the property by mid-July.
Penticton city council voted unanimously to declare 434 Lakeshore Drive a “nuisance property” and has given the owners to remove debris, level the site, and make it safe.
“The thoughts of the owners are certainly top of mind they’re going through a really difficult time losing their structure,” said the city of Penticton director of Development Services Blake Laven.
“We understand that they are having challenges getting their insurance company to help with the cleanup, and that’s left it in the state that it’s been in since March.”
Three months after a massive fire tore through the Warren House, heaps of debris and hazardous material are still piled up on the property.
City staff said the decision was fuelled by several complaints from neighbours about the debris.
“What precipitated us going to council to request the remedial action order was mostly complaints from the public and from the neighbours that are dealing with a very unsightly property next to them,” said Laven.
If the owners fail to comply with the remedial action, then the city will take over the cleanup and all the costs will be charged to the owners.
“We have been in contact with the owners ongoing since the fire occurred. The fire investigators had to do their work. So, we were being patient but the neighbours, as well as other people in the public really want to see this property cleaned up,” said Laven.
“It’s on a high-profile Street in Penticton obviously Lakeshore Drive. This was a house that was on the city of Penticton’s heritage registry and it’s a real shame to lose a structure of that calibre. And we don’t know what the plans are for redevelopment of the house.”
The Warren House was built in 1912 and recently operated as a bed and breakfast. On March 7, a gas explosion triggered a massive fire, and the house burnt to the ground.
The owners have until June 27 to ask council to reconsider the decision.