Penticton residents reclaim their neighbourhood

Bassett Street residents' five-year wait to rid their neighbourhood of a derelict home may finally be coming to an end

The long wait could soon be over for residents in a quiet Penticton neighbourhood.

A rundown and rat-infested home that has been an eyesore and health concern for Bassett Street residents for the past five years could soon become just an unpleasant memory.

What must have seemed to residents as an endless stream of promises, permit applications and excuses came to an end Monday night when Penticton council started the clock ticking on the home’s demolition.

The property owners had been seeking an extension in order to move ahead with plans to construct a duplex on the property. While demolition would appear to be a logical precursor to construction, exactly why that would require an extension is unclear, as the property owners never bothered to show up in council chambers Monday night to speak to their request.

And that was enough to stretch council’s patience to the breaking point. “I would like to not give these owners even one more day,” said Coun. Helen Konanz, adding the home is putting the safety of neighbourhood children in jeopardy.

This is a significant departure from the response neighbours received from the city just last year, when they were told if the owners looked after the yard and kept the home boarded up it would not fall under the city’s unsightly premises bylaw.

All that changed when council issued an order earlier this month declaring the property a hazard. The property owners now have 30 days to demolish the home before the city steps in and puts the demolition work out to tender.

That work can’t start soon enough for Bassett Street residents anxious to give their neighbourhood a fresh start.