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'Unsafe' Kelowna home has date with a wrecking ball

Janusz Grelecki stands on the deck of his house that the City of Kelowna is renewing demolition action against.
Janusz Grelecki stands on the deck of his house that the City of Kelowna is renewing demolition action against.

It’s been more than a year since the City of Kelowna ordered a Rutland resident to demolish his house. Legal action stopped that process but the clock is going to start ticking again soon.

It was on Aug. 23, 2021 that Janusz Grelecki went to Kelowna council appealing a demolition order it had made in July of that year.

Council refused to back down, citing an 18-year history of problems with the man, not only at his current property at 424 Gibson Rd but at a previous derelict property just down the road.

READ MORE: Kelowna city council sticks to its guns; demands unsafe house be demolished

He was ordered to get a demolition permit within 14 days of that ruling. Instead, in September, Grelecki filed a lawsuit against the city in an effort to stop those proceedings, which it did.

“That was in the legal system for the last nine months,” Ken Hunter, the city’s bylaws supervisor told “During the last nine months nothing’s moved on this file as we were respectful of the pending legal process.”

In late July, Grelecki withdrew the lawsuit.

“Now we’re back to, essentially, square one from where we were last August,” Hunter said.

The home was inspected last week and, while staff are still “processing” the information from that inspection, Hunter said it does not appear that much work was done on the site over the course of the past year.

Grelecki took possession of the 2,700-square-foot house overlooking the Rutland area of the city in 2010 and spent years accumulating material and trying to renovate the home, which includes an 80-foot long balcony consisting mostly of beams hanging high over the lower yard.

READ MORE: iN PHOTOS: Owner of ‘unsafe’ house in Kelowna will fight the city in the hopes of saving his home

The city’s Property Standards Compliance Team is working with Grelecki’s lawyer to set a date for the clock to start ticking again.

The original timeline council gave Grelecki was the 14 days to apply for a demolition permit. Then he was to remove all personal contents from in and around the building within 42 days and remove hazardous materials within 60 days.

The house, including foundation, decks, swimming pool, retaining and landscape walls, temporary structures, vehicles, equipment, imported material and earth fill have to be removed within 120 days. After that, the lot has to be regraded and planted with native grass and plants.

If Grelecki fails to comply with any of the deadlines, the city can send in a contractor to do that work and charge the costs against the property’s taxes.

Once timelines are set, in the next short while, Grelecki will be served notice and the clock will start ticking again, Hunter said.

“Ultimately we’re going to enforce council’s remedial action requirement,” he said.

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