A property at 2015 Hollywood Rd. South has been nothing but trouble for Kelowna council since December 2020.
The bylaw department has received several complaints regarding campers and squatters causing nuisances to neighbours, including campfires, littering and extended stays.
The problem is the property is owned by the province of B.C., staff told council the province is unable to take direct enforcement action, citing a lack of resources. That means the city has to apply for crown tenure in order to have the right to oversee the protection and safety of the property.
“It’s just another example of the continuous downloading on municipalities,” said Mayor Colin Basran. “Hence the reason why we now have to make this our responsibility which is frustrating. Not to mention the pressure on our RCMP and bylaw to enforce.”
Council members were displeased as well.
“This has been going on for quite some time and the reason it is, is because we do not have control,” said Coun. Maxine DeHart. “I don’t think the public understands that we have this little piece of problem, in the middle of our city, not owned by us but of course, everyone thinks it is city-owned and it is our problem.”
DeHart is pleased city staff is asking council’s approval to apply for crown tenure.
“We’re going the right way,” she added. “There were campfires, there was littering, there were people living there. It was a garbage mess.”
Questions were raised about whether the city could be reimbursed for extra policing or bylaw costs.
“I don’t envision us sending an invoice to the province for this,” said Mayor Basran.
Council unanimously approved the recommendation to apply for crown tenure.