City of Port Alberni takes action on problem property

Home on 10th Avenue has a collection of garbage, shopping carts

The property at 2808 10th Avenue. This picture was taken on May 22, 2019. SCREENSHOT

The city will be proceeding with remediation of a home on 10th Avenue, despite an appeal from the property owner.

The property, located at 2808 10th Avenue, was declared a nuisance back in March under the Community Charter, through which council has the ability to impose remedial action requirements.

READ: Two more homes added to Port Alberni’s list of nuisance properties

The property owner, Lori Strickland, was given 30 days to fully remediate the property and 14 days to appeal council’s decision. She requested more time to comply, and was given 72 days to further remediate.

Manager of bylaw services Flynn Scott noted in a report that the grass on the property has been cut, but the property still has substantial garbage, shopping carts and other items on site.

Strickland sent out a letter of appeal on May 21, stating that she has been unable to address all of bylaw’s concerns as a single, disabled woman on low income. She noted that the collection of garbage and shopping carts on the property is due to a mentally ill family member who also lives on the property, and a Certificate of Pending Litigation prevents the sale of the property.

“I am again asking you to find the heart of this community and help find solutions to my challenges instead of ignoring them. It would be a shame to lose a property I have owned for over 25 years because I have nowhere to turn,” she wrote.

Councillor Ron Corbeil said on Monday that he was torn on the appeal.

“It’s not the worst looking property in Port Alberni,” he said. “It needs a little bit of TLC, but I’ve seen worse.”

Scott said he sympathizes with Strickland’s situation, but the city has been using “significant resources” to take care of the property. Complaints about the property began back in March 2009. Between 2018-2019, a total of 12 violation tickets were issued to the property, but none have been paid. Unrecoverable costs have also been incurred, as a contractor has been hired for cleanup purposes seven times in nine months.

“We’ve given a substantial amount of time,” he said. “Our requests aren’t being fulfilled.”

Council agreed to confirm the remedial action requirement that was imposed in March, and directed city staff to proceed with remediating the outside of the property in accordance with city bylaw regulations. Staff will conduct onsite inspections, and any work required will be carried out at the expense of the property owner.

The property will continue to be inspected on a regular basis to ensure compliance.

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