Penticton council fed up with non-compliant property owner

“I’m deeply offended, as I think all of Penticton is, and especially the neighbours.”

The property owner of 377 Winnipeg St. has been ordered by Penticton City Council to demolish the notorious building by Dec. 31. (Western News file photo)

Penticton city council is officially fed up with a non-compliant property owner, declaring one of the owner’s residences a nuisance property.

Bylaw supervisor Tina Siebert told council on Nov. 19 that the single detached dwelling and detached shed on 377 Winnipeg St., has garnered 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 to the tenants being evicted in the summer of 2018.

Read More: Altercation involved a butcher knife at 377 Winnipeg

“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.

She said the property owner also owes $1,530 in bylaw fines an $2,590.37 for outstanding fees.

Read More: Penticton council declares Brunswick Street property a nuisance

Siebert said the non-compliant property owner 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 took action on in 2012 to remove a fire-damaged building from the property and 360 Martin St., Three Gables Motel, which in 2014 the BC Fire Commissioner ordered a non-occupancy/evacuation order because the building conditions that could 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 it 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 past eight years she has only sat down with the owner in person once, which 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,” said said Coun. Judy Sentes.

“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.”

Read More: Action taken on nuisance property

According to the 2019 BC Assessment, the land at 377 Winnipeg St. is valued at $277,000 and the buildings at $114,000.

On Tuesday, council voted unanimously to officially declare 377 Winnipeg St. a nuisance property and imposed an order on the owner to remedy the situation by pay the outstanding fines and fees and successfully obtain a building permit to demolish it by 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 31.

Failing this, the city will take injunctive action through B.C. Supreme Court, 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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Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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