Residents of Kelowna’s Gibson Road are about to get something they’ve been wishing for the past 11 years.
A dilapidated home at 424 Gibson Road has been of concern to neighbours since the current owner purchased it in 2010. Several complaints regarding the unsightly state of the house, construction traffic, waste storage, construction noise and other nuisances have resulted in 24 visits to the property by city staff.
On Monday, after several attempts over the years to have the owner clean up the property, Kelowna city council approved a measure city planning director Ryan Smith called their “last resort” — a full demolition of the site.
“I think the message to be sent is that we do mean business in these cases and it’s not acceptable to impact neighbourhoods this way.”
The property owner now needs to apply for a demolition permit by Aug. 9. Within 42 days, the owner needs to remove all contents from the site and, by 60 days, have it cleared of hazardous materials. Within four months, the whole site has to be levelled, including the house, its foundation, a swimming pool and any other material on site.
And if the owner doesn’t do it, they’ll still be on the hook for the cost of the demolition. The city plans to move forward with the demolition itself and bill the owner if work doesn’t get underway as planned.
The owner still has the opportunity to suggest another way. They have 14 days to petition any alternatives to council, but Smith said staff doesn’t believe the owner can make the necessary improvements themselves.