City councillor Cindy Solda discusses the demolition of a derelict house on Golden Street with Blair Pletti of B Pletti Contracting

Golden Street house finally gone

NUISANCE PROPERTIES: | Fire-damaged house stood forgotten for three years before city took command of its demolition.

A burned out house on Golden Street has finally been torn down, almost three years after a fire destroyed it.

On Nov. 2, 2010 a fire severely damaged a house at 5165 Golden St. In May, city staff told Port Alberni city council that damage to the house exceeded 75 per cent of its value and it has had maintenance issues since 2008. The house was torn down on Monday.

Coun. Cindy Solda has been a strong proponent of having derelict buildings dealt with in a timely fashion. She said this house had flown under the radar; the house is surrounded by large trees, making it almost unseen from the road.

“I’m happy for the neighbourhood because the neighbours are the ones who brought this to my attention,” Solda said as she watched the demolition.

“There are kids in the neighbourhood and there was always that little bit of potential that kids could come and play here.”

Solda explained that with only one bylaw officer on staff, residents need to contact the city if they know of nuisance properties that could pose a threat to safety.

“If the grass is too high, there are things happening in the yard that you don’t think is right, people need to complain to the city,” Solda said. “Enforcement is complaint driven.”

Bylaw officer Tim Hautzinger said the bill for this teardown would be sent to the owners and estimated the cost to be about $10,000.

“The city won’t be on the hook for the cost,” Hautzinger said. “All costs will be put to the property owner and if they refuse to pay, then it will be put on their property taxes.”

olda added that the building she is most looking forward to being dealt with is the old Tidebrook Motel on Gertrude. The hotel portion was destroyed by a fire on Jan. 13, 2012 and the site was hit again with another fire on Nov. 3, 2012 when the former restaurant burned.

City staff is in the process of having that building torn down.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com