An abandoned house at 1352 6th Avenue

An abandoned house at 1352 6th Avenue

Council decides to have derelict house torn down

  • Feb. 18, 2011 3:00 p.m.

A vacant house located at 1352 6th Avenue East in Prince Rupert is destined to be demolished. After hearing from staff this week, City Council unanimously passed a motion to declare the home a hazard and ordered it be demolished within 14 days.

Building inspector Allan Scott warned the house could literally collapse at any time.

“To eliminate the risk of someone getting hurt or killed the structure should be razed as soon as possible,” Scott outlined in a written report.

Photographs accompanying Scott’s report show timbers braced against the building to prevent it from falling over.

The registered owner of the house is deceased and in September 2010 the house was sold at a tax sale.

City Administrator Robert Grodecki told council the community charter allows the City to pass the demolition order and go after the previous owner’s estate because the registered owner is deceased.

“The charter also allows us to seek remedial action against the people that bought it at tax sale during the redemption period,” Grodecki said.

Both parties under the Community Charter have a statutory duty to prevent the property from falling into disrepair and would be responsible for reimbursing the City in case the City incurs costs to legally wreck and remove the structure.

Councillor Sheila Gordon-Payne asked if when staff inspected the building, and wrapped cautionary tape around it, was there any sign that someone is living there.

“At this time of year, I’m sure people in the neighbourhood do know it’s not been occupied, but I would hate for us to find there was some kind of squatter living there as we move forward,” Gordon-Payne said.

Grodecki said the home hasn’t been occupied for some time.

“We know that one of the family members of the deceased registered owner was going to go back in there at one time to try and retrieve some belongings, but they got frightened because the building was shaking and rattling,” Grodecki said.

Councillor Gina Garon asked if the City has to wait 14 days for the demolition.

“I’m just really concerned about the condition of this building being that it’s in such disrepair and in danger of toppling over,” Garon said.

City Manager Gordon Howie said 14 days is half of the time period normally given to demolition orders and staff is hopeful the house will come down even sooner than that.