City wants action on derelict properties
CITY OFFICIALS say they are now waiting for the owners of three derelict Little Ave. properties to follow through on promises to make improvements.
Warning letters were sent this summer after an inspection by city officials, electricians and the fire chief indicated some serious health and safety risks associated with the structures.
Neighbours have also complained about the unsightly look of properties at 4520, 4450 and 4440 Little Ave., a relatively short street located just north of the 4500 Block of Park Ave.
In response to city letters, owner of 4520 Little Ave., Wayne Kirby, and 4440 Little Ave. owner Lloyd Wittkowski have indicated they prefer to demolish at least a portion of their buildings at their own expense.
“Mr. Wittkowski said he'd demolish half this year and half next year,” said Terrace's city planner David Block, adding a demolition permit is close to being issued to him.
And existing demolition permit issued earlier this year still stands for the east-portion of 4520 Little which is owned by Kirby and which was Terrace's first hospital.
Demolition work started this year but was left unfinished and the roofless and in somewhat wall-free structure is still standing.
Kirby committed to maintaining the west portion of the building as a vacant building that is secured up to standards.
The owner of the third building at 4450 Little Ave., George Vogel, did submit a letter to the city outlining plans associated with timelines.
“He hasn't kept to that commitment,” said Block. “Not much changed there.”
Now, steps for the city include monitoring work being done on the properties to ensure its underway.
The city says it wants to ensure the properties are safe – and is taking steps under its nuisance bylaw.
“Maintenance of the site, removal of junk or materials, maintaining the security of a vacant building … those are the basics around the nuisance issue,” said Block, adding city council is currently exploring options about how to improve the condition of each property.
“If it's becoming an unsafe situation for fire hazard, if it's not being secured, trespass … potential for children or others... they can move forward with a remedial order,” said Block.
Remedies that could be applied vary, adding a demolition order is not the only option available.
“Whatever remedial order or action council takes, the property owner always has an option to appeal or respond,” Block said, adding city council will take action on at least one of the properties later this year.