Penticton city council is officially fed up with a non-compliant property owner, declaring one of their residences a nuisance property.
Council heard a report from bylaw supervisor Tina Siebert at the regular meeting on Nov. 19 about the single detached dwelling and detached shed on 377 Winnipeg St., that garners complaint after complaint from the community due to its unsightliness and other problems. Siebert said the residence and owner have a long history with bylaw non-compliance, leading up to the tenants being evicted in Summer 2018.
“This property has quite a history of bylaw enforcement action since 2011, so it’s been ongoing for a number of years. (There have been) significant issues ranging from dogs, unsightly conditions, vegetation, noise and social nuisance and some criminality as well,” said Siebert. “(Also) poor property owner oversight with tenancy issues (and an) inaction from the property owner since tenants were evicted last summer. (There are) outstanding bylaw fines of $1,530 and outstanding fees incurred of $2,590.37. Staff continue to receive complaints from the community, so this property has just been sitting vacant since the eviction happened in Summer 2018.”
Siebert continued to paint a picture of a non-compliant property owner, who owns a number of other residences in the city which also have a history of non-compliance. This includes 287 Basset St., which council took to remedial action in 2012 to remove a fire damaged building from the property, and 360 Martin St., which in 2014 the BC Fire Commissioner ordered a non-occupancy/evacuation of Three Gables Motel “due to building conditions that might seriously endanger life or property in the event of a fire.”
Siebert explained that city staff have followed the guidelines set out in the Good Neighbour Bylaw to allow “a fair, consistent and progressive approach to obtain compliance with municipal bylaws” but this has not resulted in action from the property owner in regard to the Winnipeg Street residence. In fact, the owner emailed Siebert in May 2019 to request she “stop interfering with monitoring the property,” and she told council that in the eight years of problems with the property, she has only sat down with the owner in person once “which obviously did not go well.”
“My frustration is with the blatant disrespect for not only the neighbours but for the City of Penticton by this particular property owner. I think it is blatant, that’s my biggest frustration, and I’m deeply offended, as I think all of Penticton is, and especially the neighbours,” said Coun. Judy Sentes. “And this is not a singular incident. We have had eight years of trouble with three different properties. I read with interest that there was some arrogance when on May 29, you (Siebert) received an email from the property owner requesting that you stop interfering with monitoring the property.
“I find that appalling. There has been no effort to work with you (bylaw services), no effort to address the responsibilities that a land owner has.”
According to the 2019 BC Assessment, the land at 377 Winnipeg St. is values at $277,000 and the buildings at $114,000.
Council voted unanimously to officially declare 377 Winnipeg St. a nuisance property, and that the city impose remedial action on the owner to remedy the situation – pay outstanding amounts and obtain and successfully complete a building permit to demolish – by a deadline of 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 31. Failing this, the city will take injunctive action through the British Columbia Supreme Courts, at a cost of $5,000 to $10,000, which can be collected through a successful injunction.
“I’m really pleased to see this coming forward, it’s long overdue and I can’t wait for it to be done. Consider it an early Christmas present from council to the city,” said Coun. Katie Robinson.
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