The City of Penticton is using the Good Neighbour bylaw to force a clean-up of an unsightly property on Westminster Avenue.                                Photo courtesy City of Penticton

The City of Penticton is using the Good Neighbour bylaw to force a clean-up of an unsightly property on Westminster Avenue. Photo courtesy City of Penticton

Penticton city council orders property cleaned up

Neighbours have been complaining about a Westminster Avenue property since 2009

The City of Penticton is taking action to clean up a property that has posed a challenge since 2009.

A unanimous vote by council approved a city staff request to hire a private contractor to clean up a property at 485 Westminster Ave., situated along an area that Anthony Haddad, director of development services, called one of the city’s main entry points into downtown.

There have been five separate complaints about the property since 2009, including the current file which was opened in April 2016. The unsightliness consists of discarded furniture and various types of discarded material all visible from the street, the lane and from both neighbouring properties.

Since April 2016, bylaw officers have completed 20 inspections of this property, issued two letters requesting clean-up, and twelve notices/tickets, none of which have been paid, according to Haddad.

“Staff have exhausted all efforts to gain compliance with the Good Neighbour bylaw,” said Haddad.

Coun. Judy Sentes said she was dismayed by how long it had taken for the city to get to the point of cleanup action.

“The neighbours were complaining and I think we didn’t show respect for their complaints,” said Sentes.

Haddad explained that the property owners had made efforts since 2009 to clean up the property, but none had lasted long.

“They have cleaned up to a point where it was satisfied the bylaw officer’s expectations. After it has been cleaned up, the site deteriorates again,” said Haddad. “We are at a point now where we have seen it happen too many times.”

In July 2016, a formal notification of a clean-up process commenced, which would permit a contractor to have discarded items removed from the property at the owner’s expense as a result of noncompliance with the Good Neighbour Bylaw.

The owner appealed the demand claiming that he could now get the work completed. This clean-up never occurred.

Since the appeal in July 2016 bylaw officers have attended 10 times to inspect the property, and each time the property remained unsightly according to the staff report. The estimated cost of the clean-up is $425-$500 plus taxes. The cost will first be billed to the property owner, and if it goes unpaid it will be transferred to property taxes for payment.