Dilapidated houses on Henderson get demolition deadline

Property owner has to fence off and then demolish Chilliwack downtown properties within 30 days

Fires, garbage, weeds and squatting became such a problem that city officials are seeking the demolition a row of abandoned old houses near downtown.

The City of Chilliwack has fielded dozens of complaints about the boarded-up properties at 45870, 45888, and 45894 Henderson Avenue since 2017. The properties are owned by 641474 BC Ltd. of Surrey.

Council voted Tuesday to pursue a remediation order under Sections 72 to 74 of the Community Charter requiring the property owner to take action quickly to address the nuisance created by the run-down and unsafe condition of the houses.

The structures are falling apart and have been used by squatters. There is garbage and unsightly debris around the houses which have been deemed hazardous. The properties are considered unsightly, and a nuisance to the neighbourhood.

Bylaw officials have been trying to get compliance with city bylaws from the owners, to no avail.

The property owners of the three vacant houses has 30 days to fence the properties and demolish the structures. They can also apply to address council and request more time.

“The owners have verbally confirmed and indicated through inaction that they are not concerned about the activities occurring on the property, and have no interest in remedying the unsightly and hazardous conditions,” according to the staff report.

The remediation order requires the owner to fully enclose the perimeter with a two-metre high fence, demolish or remove the buildings, and “clean up or otherwise deal with the unsightly condition” of the properties within a month of receiving the resolution of council.

The owners applied to build an apartment building on the site in October 2017, and since then numerous unsightly complaints have been made, and the property has been constantly used by squatters, something the owner has said is not his responsibility.

The Chilliwack Fire Department has dealt with burning inside buildings on the properties five times in 2018, on Jan. 14, April 11, Sept. 7, Oct. 1 and Nov. 30. In many of those incidents, firefighters complained about difficulty accessing the building because of overgrown bushes on the properties.

Should the owner fail to comply, the city or its contractor can enter the property to complete the work.

The staff report stated:

“It has been determined from the bylaw inspections that overgrown bushes, weeds and tall grass along with the collection of garbage and debris, which are now attracting and providing a haven for vermin, rats and other pests, are causing considerable concern to the health and safety of those living in the neighbourhood.

“In addition, the Assistant Fire Chief considers the building to be a fire and life safety hazard for both Fire Department and trespassers who may inhabit this property. Despite attempts made by City staff to have the owner address these deficiencies, the owner has failed to comply.”

READ MORE: Another vacant house in flames


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

A case of COVID has been detected within School District 33. (School District 33 photo)
UPDATE: Case of COVID confirmed at a Chilliwack school

Fraser Health has not informed parents but district sent letter to parents Friday

Record-low returns of salmon have been recorded on the Fraser River in recent years. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
Time for Indigenous-led salmon strategy on the Lower Fraser, says Alliance

‘Closures of First Nations, commercial and recreational salmon fishing’ have huge impact: LFFA

The City of Chilliwack says there’s too much spitting going on at the Sardis Sports Complex. (City of Chilliwack photo)
Too much spitting a problem at Chilliwack’s Sardis Sports Complex

The City of Chilliwack is asking the minor hockey community to ease up on expectorating

The number of new COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Vancouver and the Fraser North region over the last week.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
CHARTS: Weekly COVID-19 case counts continue to rise in Fraser Valley

The number of new COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Vancouver and the Fraser North region.

The Excelsior 4 are set to make their second court appearance in Abbotsford on Monday (Nov. 2). (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
‘Excelsior 4’ making second Abbotsford court appearance on Monday

Animal rights activists expected to plead not guilty to charges, protest for Vancouver scheduled

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. (File photo)
This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Maestro Otto Tausk. (Photo: vancouversymphony.ca)
50/50 lotto players buck up for Metro Vancouver musicians hit hard by COVID

‘Rapidly growing jackpot’ for VSO’s 50/50 draw as they go online with TheConcertHall.ca

Most Read