Bylaw targets unkempt buildings in Alberni

A new Alberni building standards bylaw targets unkempt buildings and not buildings that are well maintained.

The new building standards bylaw is one step closer to completion.

The proposed bylaw received three readings at council’s Nov. 25 meeting.

Excerpts from the bylaw include owners will need to register vacant buildings with a $1,000 permit.

Special safety and monitoring inspections are required. Violators will be fined between $100-$10,000 and or spend six months in jail.

Coun. Jack McLeman asked if the bylaw applied to vacant buildings, dilapidated buildings or both.

City planner Scott Smith replied that certain portions of the bylaw apply to vacant buildings, while other portions apply to all buildings.

It all boils down to whether a property is being well maintained or not, Smith said.

“The bylaw doesn’t apply to buildings that are well maintained,” Smith said.

“But whether they’re vacant or occupied, if they’re not well maintained then the bylaw applies and an investigation and determination can be made.”

Coun. Hira Chopra asked if the bylaw officer has to give notice before he visits a property. Smith replied that an officer can’t go into a building without notice but that he can go onto a property without it.

As well, that this is already done through the property maintenance bylaw.

Smith also clarified that the bylaw doesn’t cover buildings defaced with graffiti.

The bylaw will be a kick in the pants for absentee landlords, Coun. Cindy Solda said.

“They’ve been making havoc across the community. This has been a long time in coming.”

The public has 30 days to make comment about the bylaw, which will be brought back to council in January, Smith said.

The bylaw is a step in the right direction, Coun. Dan Washington said.

“Let’s get going on this.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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