Derelict property. File photo

Penticton resident takes city to task on problem properties

City of Penticton said they are trying to address hot spots in the community

Matt Taylor says the City of Penticton needs more bylaws to deal with problem properties, like the one at 377 Winnipeg St., neighbouring his property.

Taylor, who presented to Penticton city council Tuesday, said every level of enforcement has been involved in the dealing with the property, but issues continue. After services were cut off, he said, the tenants have been using portable kerosene heaters and a gas-powered generator.

He’d like to see a bylaw that if a home doesn’t have power or water, it could be declared uninhabitable and shut down. Taylor also said he would like to see a bylaw allowing the city to step in and evict tenants if the property owner is declared a problem himself.

Related: Power cut at problem house in Penticton

Bylaw, RCMP and others he said, don’t seem to have the tools to deal with these kind of problems.

“Frankly, I think it is your problem,” said Taylor.

The problem is at the municipal level, he continued, and the city needs to decide to take action or just let the problem go on.

“From what I have seen, bylaw is a profit centre for the City of Penticton,” said Taylor, explaining that he would like to see more bylaw staff to deal with similar problems around the community. “I don’t see why, if you have a recognized problem, you wouldn’t run (bylaw) revenue neutral.

“I think the community has to step up and expect more.”

Peter Weeber, the city’s chief administrative officer, said work is being done on the Winnipeg Street residence, even as he acknowledged the difficulty of dealing with similar public order issues.

“We have hot spots around the community and we are at a loss to address them all,” said Weeber, explaining there is a process to be followed, which the city is doing.

“We certainly aren’t sitting back watching this happen,” said Weeber, adding they are definitely coming to the end of that process.

“Everything takes time,” said Weeber. “We are doing as much as possible. It is virtually impossible to deal with quickly, but it will be dealt with.“

Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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