City council voted in favour of allowing a private property representative to beef up security with the addition of barbed wire on a fence to keep out vandals and thieves.
Don Ritchey, strata council president for Kermode Properties, had applied for a development variance permit to allow barbed wire along the existing 1.8 metre high fence and to allow the existing 3.6 m high open mesh (chain link) fence on the west side of the property, as stated in the city council Sept. 12 agenda.
“I don’t think it comes as much of a surprise considering the increase in the homeless and as the RCMP stepped up its activity, [there’s been an] increase in people moving down below the curling rink where we are and quite an escalation of petty thefts,” Ritchey told city council, adding that it was determined that the culprits were coming in through the fence.
Eight vehicles were rummaged through by intruders in one night, he added.
“As many as 30 people live in the bushes there about 100 yards from us and it’s caused a lot of stress in the seniors there,” said Ritchey.
City bylaw officer Dwayne Sheppard spent three hours looking around the property, recommending steps that could be taken to increase security such as better signage and video cameras, added Ritchey.
City planner Tara Irwin said the staff recommended the variances because the barbed wire is above the height of 1.8 metres which is a bylaw requirement, the fence is within the Kermode Properties’ property line and maintained by the strata, there are no future plans to install barbed wire on top of the 3.6 m chain link fence, the fence is adjacent to Riverside Park which is permitted and the barbed wire will only have a minor impact on the community and potentially increase safety at Kermode Properties.
The city did not receive any concerns from property owners, added Irwin.
[update: Ritchey said later that the intruders rummaged through eight vehicles during two consecutive nights, not one night as he had told city council.]