Penticton and South Okanagan
30 days to clean up eyesore
Aug 21, 2013 / 4:00 pm
Residents in the 300 block of Churchill Avenue in Penticton expressed relief Wednesday, that the city is taking action regarding a run-down property on their street.
The home at 363 Churchill has increasingly become an eyesore, with debris, weeds and animal feces filling the front yard.
"Penticton is a beautiful city and things like this are disheartening to see. It makes the neighbourhood look like trailer trash," said resident Heidi Simmons, who lives nearby. "I just hope they, (the owners), can maintain it, and if not hire someone to do that. It's not rocket science."
On Monday, City Council designated the property to be a declared nuisance, meaning the property owners must take remedial action to clean it up within 30 days.
The owners will also be given the opportunity to speak on the matter at the next council meeting on Sept. 3.
Councillor Wes Hopkin said the problems have gone on for a long time, and the city has received a number of complaints.
"Neighbours are quite rightly upset, so the city is empowered under the community charter to force the property owner to either clean up their property or we will go in and clean it up and charge the property owner for the cost of that," he said.
The bylaw enforcement file related to the property was opened in January 2011. Since then city staff has spent countless hours responding to complaints, doing inspections, monitoring the property and trying to work with the owner in a proactive manner.
In addition to owners not being responsive, current renters have created disturbances in the neighbourhood and been verbally abusive to bylaw staff.
A neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said she does not even walk that way, because she does not want to go by the home.
"It is a dump, with stuff everywhere, and the people who live there yell at each other on the street," she said.
Others spoke of criminal activity at the residence.
A resident, who gave her first name as Joan, said she couldn't understand how people could live that way.
"I am particular about cleanliness, and I don't like to see people living like pigs," she said. "So I am very grateful the city is doing something."
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