Nuisance property in Penticton gets reprieve

Council gives owners of 555 Wade Ave. East until Nov. 18 to get site cleaned up

Neighbours of 555 Wade Ave. East will have to wait a bit longer to see the long-standing eyesore completely taken care of.

Rick Appleton, representing property owners Ming Leung and Shun Yi Chen, has taken some steps to clean up the property, and the city has extended the original 30-day deadline.

“Given there has been some movement, moving forward with some of the remediation efforts, staff feel it is reasonable to extend,” said Anthony Haddad, director of development services. “What we’re recommending is postponing it so the owners or the representative can complete further remediation, complete the engineering review and complete the demolition of the building or apply for a vacant building permit.”

An engineering review is required to assess the stability of the slope above the house and an existing retaining wall that is failing. Council voted to postpone taking action on the property until Nov. 18.

Appleton said he is getting estimates for demolishing the house, which he thinks is the likely course of action.

“I think both parties (the city and the owners) know that is the end result,” said Appleton.

“And their taxes will go down.

“Their taxes are up because it is zoned as a duplex that is uninhabitable.”

The city has been trying to get the property taken care of since 2008, filing unsightly property offences and trying to communicate with the owners.

In July 2013, RCMP paid a visit as well, recovering stolen property that was being stored at the house.

Appleton, a local realtor, said a language barrier accounts for part of the problem. He is now using an interpreter.

“I am dealing through someone who speaks fluent Chinese, but he also speaks good English,” he said. “There are also some legal issues happening behind the scenes, some lawsuits regarding a potential sale that was happening a few years ago.”

Though he only recently took the listing for the house, Appleton said he has been involved with the property on and off for years.

“This place, years ago, was a very desirable property. It was like a park,” he said.