Owners get more time to tear down derelict buildings
The owners of two derelict properties in Terrace have a little longer to tear down their structures after hearings in city council chambers last night.
While the two hearings happened separately, both owners of 4440 Little Ave. and 4520 Little Ave. appeared before mayor and council last night to contest demolition orders issued by council Nov. 26.
From the date those orders were delivered, Dec. 4, both owners were given 60 days to tear down the structures on each property and other timeframes to have properties cleaned up. Council voted to give each owner more time based on reasons for reconsideration heard by both Lloyd Wittkowski who owns 4440 Little Ave. and Wayne Kirby, who owns 4520 Little Ave.
Wittkowski asked council for a time extension so that he did not have to tear his building down in the winter time.
He noted that he planned to re-use parts of the building, especially the roof, and that winter weather made salvaging the roof unsafe.
“I would like to plead with you people, don't let me do it in the winter time,” he said, adding he does intend to tear down the structure. “I would like to make it a win-win situation.”
Council voted to give three months from last night's date – until April – for the work to be complete.
Kirby, owner of 4520 Little Ave., had a different request.
He said the price to tear down the building was nearly double one year's worth of salary for him based on a quote he'd received, noting it was unreasonable for council to expect such an expensive undertaking to happen so quickly.
“I don't have the finances to pay for that,” he said.
He added he thinks the properties on Little Ave. have been unfairly targeted.
“I just have to wonder why Little Ave.,” he said, adding there are many unsafe and unsightly buildings that he's seen in Terrace.
Lastly, Kirby noted he would like to recycle as much of his building as possible to keep materials from landfills, and that would take time.
Or, he would like to sell it, he said, adding the building has been listed for a year and a half.
Council voted to extend the date of cleanup and demolition on 4520 Little Ave. by six months, noting some of the cleanup ordered Nov. 26 had taken place and that as Kirby had tenants up until this fall demolishing his building hadn't been possible until recently.