Vacant building bylaw takes shape in Alberni

A vacant building bylaw with $1,000 permits, inspection requirements, fines and even jail time for violaters is in the works in Alberni.

Permits, inspections and fines will be the new order of the day for derelict buildings in Port Alberni.

Port Alberni city council voted to receive a building standards bylaw report from city planner Scott Smith about the initiative.

Businesses and the public aren’t fully aware of the implications of the byalw therefore the plan will go to a public consultation at a future date. Resource issues that give force and effect to the bylaw will also have to be addressed during budget discussions, Smith said.

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.

The bylaw is a first in the community, Smith said.

“We can’t catch every piece of property with this, but we can sure catch some of them,” Coun. Jack McLeman said.

‘Vacant building’ was defined in Smith’s report as a building without a lawful occupant, or which is not being put to lawful commercial, residential or industrial use for 45 out of 60 days.

City manager Ken Watson clarified that a building can be boarded up but not vacant, that the doors and windows are in good repair.

Coun. Cindy Solda asked about fines and eye sore properties of absentee landlords, and specifically asking about tarped roofs like that on the former Tidebrook Hotel.

Watson replied that if property owners don’t comply then fines start to accumulate. He cautioned that vacant properties with tarped roofs need to be differentiated from those with leaky roofs mid-winter.

“The bylaw enforcement officer will visit the property and make the call,” Watson said.

McLeman asked if the bylaw will address the uptown core or people who don’t respect buildings. It’s not just one issue but rather a variety that comprise McLeman’s concerns, Smith replied.

“It will address uptown in some way but it’s not a magic bullet,” he said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

Just Posted

Smoking ban arrives on BC Ferries

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries enacts smoking ban

Alberni’s marine SAR unit relies on volunteers, local donors to stay afloat

Unit’s vessel will need retrofit, boat shed in next few years

Island Health issues boil water advisory for Cherry Creek, near Port Alberni

Island Health has issued a boil water advisory for the entire Cherry… Continue reading

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Alberni Valley Community Foundation seeks grant recipients

The Alberni Valley Community Foundation is accepting applications for grants to be… Continue reading

Floods, power lines down on Bamfield Road

Power outage affecting more than 400 customers

With a lighter touch, SAG Awards follows a familiar script

Morgan Freeman accepts the Life Achievement Award at the 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday

S. Koreans burn Kim’s photo as N. Korean band leader passes

South Korean activists burned a large photo of Kim Jong Un as an extremely popular girl band passed them

Trudeau heads to Davos to pitch investment opportunities in Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on his way to Davos, Switzerland for the annual World Economic Forum

Campbell River fire crews rescue two seniors trapped by mudslide, four homes evacuated

Residents were safely removed from the house and are now staying with family

A look at potential Canadian nominees for this year’s Oscars

The nominations are to be revealed Tuesday morning for the 90th Academy Awards

B.C. expert weighs in on why kids are eating Tide pods for fun

Why are kids taking part in something completely pointless yet so risky?

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Most Read