Council In Clean Up Mode
Prince George, B.C.- Councillor Terri McConnachie has sent a message for owners of derelict properties in downtown Prince George “To those folks, we’re comin’ to get ya'”.
The comments were made as Council voted to proceed with demanding the owners of 525 George Street take remedial action on the property by demolishing what is left on that site, properly fill and level the site, and remove all debris.
The property was the scene of a fire just a couple of weeks ago, after homeless people had made their way into what is left of the foundation on that site.
Council has the ability, under the Community Charter, to demand a property owner take such action, and failing such action, have the work done and charge the amounts to the property owner’s tax bill.
Mayor Hall is leading the charge on this one “I spoke to the DBIA about a week ago around the need for us (Council) to take this kind of action. I think it sets a precedent it sets an example that we’re serious about downtown. The City Manager knows my frustration, the day of the fire, it was time, and it is time. There are other properties we need to look at downtown but this is a great start.”
The City has been trying to contact the property owner but has had no response. Council has voted unanimously to give the property owner until June 26th to clean up the property and failing that, the City will step in and take the steps necessary that will allow the City to get the work done with the hope of having the site cleaned by no later than the end of July.
This is not the first time Council has ordered a site be cleaned up.
- Sept. 2008 Council ordered the demolition of what was left of the burned out Columbus Hotel on Third.
- June 2009 Council ordered the owner of a building at the corner of 2nd and Quebec to rip down the building that had been the scene of a fire in May of 2007
- Nov. 2009, Council ordered a neglected townhouse property on Westmount be demolished
- Sept. 2011 Council ordered clean up action on two residential properties, one on Tofield, the other on Redwood
“When it comes to these kind of things I have no patience” says Mayor Hall. There is still the matter of the two buildings next to Nancy O’s restaurant on Third Avenue that have to be addressed. Mayor Hall has asked Bylaw services to get some details on what the plan is for the former HomeWork building and the adjacent property which were gutted by fire.
Mayor Hall says there are other properties on George Street that need to be dealt with, and he wants to take a serious look at Third Avenue, noting the considerable investment that was made to upgrade that street.
Council also approved a clean up order for a property on North Blackburn Road. The property is littered with old vehicles, appliances and garbage. The owner of that property has been given until July 20th to clean up that property.
Councillor Brian Skakun wanted to know when something would be done about the Lombardi trailer Park. “I know you can only say so much, but people have wanted to know for some time what’s going down.”
The Mayor’s response was a simple “It’s next.”