The Carlson Building on Argyle Street at Second Avenue has been the subject of numerous complaints on social media in 2017. Port Alberni City Council is deciding whether to label it a nuisance building. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Council looks at Carlson Building as potential nuisance property

After numerous complaints, Alberni council wants to declare the building a nuisance

Port Alberni city council is looking into declaring the Carlson Building on Argyle Street a nuisance property.

At their Tuesday, Oct. 10 meeting, council directed staff to provide a report regarding steps to declare the Carlson Building a nuisance property.

The Carlson Building has achieved notoriety in the city this year both for its bright paint job and some alleged illegal activity that has gone on around it. Emergency crews responded to a bonfire behind the building in January of this year. Port Alberni RCMP officer in charge Inspector Brian Hunter confirmed in August that the RCMP had seized a number of drugs and weapons from the building. And in a Sept. 5 meeting of council, Coun. Denis Sauvé said that illegal dumping around the building had been keeping him busy on a weekly basis.

The building was formerly home to a number of businesses in the 1950s, including a beauty salon and seamster. It is now home to a number of rentals, and the shops below are boarded up.

“The city does have what’s called a nuisance abatement bylaw,” said director of development services Scott Smith. “Council can, through somewhat of a process, declare a property a nuisance property.”

This requires council asking for a staff report based on bylaw calls, RCMP calls, fire department calls and public works calls so they can look at the history of the property. The property owner will have an opportunity to be heard by council before the building is officially declared a nuisance property.

If council does determine the building to be a nuisance property, any activity that results in a bylaw, RCMP, fire department or public works call will be billed to the property owner at a prescribed rate in the bylaw.

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