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Central properties given remedial action order by Prince Rupert city council

The dilapidated lots have both languished for months without any work done.
The Prince Rupert city council voted to force remedial action on two properties, including 741 3rd Ave W, or Rose’s, at the Special Regular Meeting on Aug. 16. (Seth Forward/The Northern View)

Owners of three properties have been told to clean them up or face having to reimburse the city for doing the work itself.

All in a central location and affected by fires, city officials say they were frequent complaints about 741 3rd Ave W, best known as Rose’s Oriental Gifts and Foods, along with 1127 and 1133 2nd Ave W, better known as the Angus apartments. None of the buildings have been in use for at least the last year.

The owner of Rose’s was told they would need to remove a bus and a car — both derelict looking — parked on the property by Aug. 18 and to make “significant” steps to demolish building in the next month.

But in appearing via Zoom at a special council meeting Aug. 16, the owner wanted more time so they could find potential buyers from outside the province.

Less than convinced by the plea for an extension, city councillor Barry Cunningham argued the owner had plenty of time to deal with the old business and their time was up.

“The owner has no definite plan,” said Cunningham. “You have had lots of time to do it [deal with the property].”

City corporate administrator Rosamaria Miller pointed to 11 notifications handed to the owners since April to begin work.

READ MORE: Need for housing in Prince Rupert outweighs opposition, city councillor states

Angus apartments owner Pierre Ka-Ling Wong was audibly angry at council’s questioning of his circumstance, highlighting issues of recent break-ins and property damage.

“It’s a disgrace,” said Wong who believes the city should bear some responsibility to the condition of his property.

Councillor Wade Niesh said the properties owned by Wong were in “terrible condition” before and after a Dec. 2021 fire at his apartments.

Former tenants at Wong’s properties had made numerous complaints about the conditions of the units, according to Councillor Reid Skelton-Morven. The landlord was also slapped with a $5,000 fine from the provincial Residential Tenancy Branch in 2020 for “deliberately and repeatedly failing to complete emergency repairs.”

Like the owner of Rose’s, Wong was ordered to begin the demolition of his properties within 30 days of the order. Council passed both action orders unanimously.

About the Author: Seth Forward, Local Journalism Initiative

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