Kelowna city staff wants home with 'life safety concerns' torn down | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna city staff wants home with 'life safety concerns' torn down

The City of Kelowna wants this house torn down and the lot cleared.
July 26, 2021 - 7:00 AM

Gibson Road in Kelowna is a pleasant street with nicely kept-up single-family homes on one side, farmland on the other and a spectacular view of Rutland, downtown and Okanagan Lake.

It sits high on the Rutland bench but has a nuisance property on one lot that Kelowna city staff say has “numerous life safety concerns for the property’s occupants, adjacent property owners and the general public.”

And they want it gone.

“It’s always been like that,” says a neighbour who has lived nearby for 11 years and did not want to be identified.

There are old cars and other junk piled in the backyard, an enclosed trailer, truck and assorted debris in the driveway facing Gibson Road.

This is how the back yard compares to those on either side.
This is how the back yard compares to those on either side.
Image Credit: Submitted/City of Kelownaa

Most of the front doors and windows are boarded up. Other windows are broken or missing. The roof appears to be held up by a rickety-looking open structure.

This open roof is considered a safety hazard, not only for the owner but for the neighbours.
This open roof is considered a safety hazard, not only for the owner but for the neighbours.

Neighbours say the owner lives in the building but was off working on his farm when iNFOnews.ca visited. They say he can often be heard late into the night doing what seems like construction work with saws and drills whirling.

In a report going to Kelowna city council on Monday, staff say the current owner has been there since 2010. City staff have dealt with 24 complaints including “unsightly, construction-related traffic, solid waste storage, construction noise, and other nuisance contraventions.”

The original house was built in 1969 and there have been numerous unfinished renovations. There’s an open roof and no structural support for decking, along with three retaining walls that were not authorized, the staff report says. The work was done without building permits and does not meet building code regulations.

This is how the house once looked. There's not date on this photo that's on the B.C.Assessment website.
This is how the house once looked. There's not date on this photo that's on the B.C.Assessment website.
Image Credit: Submitted/B.C. Assessment

The city has tried for seven years to get it cleaned up to no avail, so staff want city council to order it demolished.

If council agrees, the owner will have to apply for a demolition permit within 14 days, remove all personal contents from in and around the building within 42 days and remove hazardous materials within 60 days.

But, that’s just the start.

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 the owner doesn’t meet any of the deadlines, the city can have the work done at the owner’s expense.

B.C. Assessment valued the property, which is at 424 Gibson Rd., at $448,500 as of July 2020, with $84,500 of that being for the building.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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