Penticton and South Okanagan
Council deals with slum property
Sep 4, 2013 / 2:49 pm
For years, neighbours on Wade Avenue East in Penticton have put up with teens tagging in the night, rats, drug use and homeless people camping out.
So news the city council on Tuesday declared the property at the heart of the problem a nuisance was well received.
"I live right next door to it, and it is a disaster. Even last night as the council was making a decision, there were teens out there doing graffiti," said Sandi Sunderman. "It has just been never ending, so I am glad there is a light at the end of the tunnel."
Declaring the property at 555 Wade Ave. East a nuisance, means the owners need to remove the graffiti, secure the property as outlined in the Good Neighour Bylaw and clear debris and outgrown weeds.
The time limit for compliance is 30 days, and the owners can speak to the matter at the Sept. 23 council meeting.
Furthermore, staff was directed to work with the city solicitor to expedite the demolition of the building.
The case history on the location was opened in 2008. During that time demolition permits have been applied for and cancelled by the owner, and there have been numerous complaints and an investigation of stolen property.
Rick Appleton, a realtor who said he was representing the owners, told the council Tuesday that the property will be cleaned up and put on the market.
He was informed he would be able to officially respond at the next council meeting.
Acting Mayor Wes Hopkin said it was really good news to have someone respond to council's concerns about the property.
"Hopefully our bylaw officers will work with the owners in the next few weeks. Then on Sept. 23, they will have a chance to respond," he said. "If we see good faith on the part of the property owners, council will re-consider the declaration."
Candice Sara, a neighbour who lives across the street, said she hopes something happens soon, because the situation has gone on for far too long.
"Between the homeless man living there the first winter it was vacant, and the local kids using it as a party house, it has been a real nightmare," she said. "I even heard at one time it was a storage locker for stolen bicycles, so it's about time something is starting to be done."
Remedial actions were also ordered for a second property in Penticton in recent weeks.
Owners had the opportunity to speak at Tuesday's meeting regarding the home at 363 Churchill Ave., but did not attend.
Hopkin said the timeline for compliance on that property is now two weeks.
"I think these properties are a blight on the community and neighbours are justifiably upset," he said. "This isn't just people who don't mow their lawns, it's people who don't take out their garbage and let the weeds grow."
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