News

RDOS will ask judge to force cleanup of unsightly property

An RCMP officer at an inspection of an Oliver-area property the RDOS wants to see cleaned up with the help of a court order. - Submitted
An RCMP officer at an inspection of an Oliver-area property the RDOS wants to see cleaned up with the help of a court order.
— image credit: Submitted

Nearly six years after first receiving a complaint about a rural property with dozens of derelict vehicles on it, a local government will now begin legal action to try to force a cleanup.

Bylaw officers from the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen suspect an auto salvage operation is being run at the Tucelnuit Road site just north of Oliver, in contravention of a bylaw that states no more than two derelict vehicles are permitted on such properties.

The RDOS board heard last week that 21 vehicles were spotted there in February, down from 50 when the first count was conducted in 2008, and that fines and mediation have not produced a resolution. Directors voted unanimously to ask a judge for help.

“The timeline is absurd,” said Allan Patton, the director for rural Oliver.

“It’s extremely frustrating, especially when the environment is really put at risk, and that’s what’s happened.”

Patton said the outstanding fines against the property owner total between $500 and $1,000.

Penticton Director Judy Sentes suggested the RDOS has played nice for too long.

“I think sometimes when we have bylaws in place and we try to do the compassionate thing or look for resolution in a mediated role, I think we get taken advantage of. This is one of those cases,” she said.

“Maybe in order to grab peoples’ attention to get rid of some of these blights on our landscape there has to be more of a consequence.”

However, RDOS chief administrative officer Bill Newell said judges require a deliberate, even-handed approach to bylaw enforcement before they’ll step in.

“What we found when we get into court is judges do have a lot of patience and they insist on a history of a municipality trying to work with somebody who’s not conforming with a bylaw,” he said, which includes “progressive discipline” like written warnings before fines.

“You better have done all of that before you get into court or the judge will just send it back.”

Newell estimated it will take a year and $10,000 to obtain a court order to have the owner clean up the property in question, which is 1.2 hectares and features a house and several outbuildings.

The property owner did not return a call for comment.

 

 

 

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Virk shuffled to new job after Kwantlen flap
 
Penticton MLA gets promoted
 
Penticton families receive Christmas cheer with hampers
Marilyn Manson coming to SOEC
 
Site C dam construction to start next summer
 
Possible bomb threat at Safeway
RBC gives $15,000 support for Intensive Care
 
Playpen donates to help animals
 
Growing pains for police investigation unit

Community Events, December 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Dec 19 edition online now. Browse the archives.