September 25, 2013 - 8:17 AM
PENTICTON - There'll be "no mercy" from one councillor for the owners and realtor of problem property 555 Wade Ave. East.
Those were Coun. Katie Robinson's exact words at Monday's council meeting to real estate agent Rick Appleton if the boarded-up and derelict building on Wade Avenue East is not dealt with as soon as possible.
The property has been a thorn in council's side for about five years. Appleton says the owners Ming Leung and Shun Yi Chen have already cleaned up the graffiti and cut the grass to show good faith. The owners are also looking to demolish the building.
Because of the steps already taken council granted an extension of the deadline. The owners have until Nov. 18 to either demolish the site or pay a $500 inspection fee to have the property designated a vacant lot plus a $1500 fee to be paid annually thereafter.
"They have done some work," Robinson says. "Normally, I don't have patience for something like this," but she's prepared to give them one more month. After that the gloves come off.
Appleton says if the home's destroyed it will mean less taxes for the owners but the possibility of them buying a vacant lot permit worried some on council.
Coun. John Vassilaki wants better assurances they will demolish the building. Appleton says he's advised the owners of council's wishes but it is still up to them.
If the owners do get the vacant lot permit, development director Anthony Haddad says the city still has options. If the building is unsightly and/or unsafe council can ultimately make the owners pay to solve the problem or demolish the site.
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