City of Port Alberni forms nuisance property working group

Several buildings uptown added to nuisance list

The city of Port Alberni has formed a working group to identify nuisance properties and bring them to city council.

The Nuisance Property Working Group brings together the city’s bylaw officer, fire department and building inspector, as well as a representative from the RCMP. Other agencies will be brought in as needed.

Director of development services Scott Smith said during a council meeting on Jan. 22 that a working group has been formed to bring forward properties for council to consider under the nuisance abatement bylaw.

“Essentially to take a look at some of the issues we’re having,” said Smith.

READ: Carlson Building declared a nuisance property

If council declares a property a nuisance, then the city will bill all future nuisance abatement to the property owner.

In the bylaw, a “nuisance” is defined as an activity that substantially and unreasonably interferes with a person’s use and enjoyment of a public area or land, or one that causes injury to a person’s health, comfort or convenience. A nuisance could include a noisy party, a group of people making noise, loud music, car racing, revving engines, yelling, shouting, screaming, fighting, littering and trespassing.

If the nuisance continues on a regular basis, the Nuisance Abatement Bylaw allows staff to abate the activity.

Smith elaborated on Monday that emergency and medical calls are not included under this bylaw, so the declaration of a nuisance property should not discourage people from calling for emergency services when needed.

“That’s not a nuisance,” he said.

Council has already given direction for staff to look at the Harbourview Apartments on Third Avenue, and this report will be brought forward to a future council meeting. Port Alberni RCMP confirmed that the police responded to 123 calls at the Harbourview Apartments in 2016 and 81 calls in 2017. They have had four calls already this year.

This working group has also identified 2972 and 2976 Third Avenue, and the former Beaufort Hotel on Angus Street as potential nuisance properties, and will be bringing these forward to future meetings.

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

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