Council cited section 72 of the Community Charter in its decision Tuesday to take remedial action and require demolition of a problem house on Margaret Avenue.

Nuisance house in downtown Chilliwack set to be demolished

A dilapidated house on Margaret Avenue will likely be demolished, after being abandoned and only minimally maintained by the owner

Over the years it became a type of nightmare house in downtown Chilliwack, generating more than a dozen nuisance and complaint calls to city hall.

The dilapidated house at 46186 Margaret Avenue is finally set to be demolished.

It was abandoned and only minimally maintained by the property owner, according to city staff reports, left unsightly and insecure, damaged by fire and squatters.

There were overgrown bushes, litter, broken glass, debris and rats in the yard, along with needles and more garbage in the abandoned house.

Council cited section 72 of the Community Charter in its decision Tuesday to take remedial action to require demolition of the “hazardous structure” in downtown Chilliwack.

The owners will be required to build a six-foot fence around the property, demolish the house, and then clean up the weeds, garbage and debris, within 30 days of the remediation order.

A garage was damaged by fire in February, and city officials said there were a total of 16 calls for bylaw enforcement, for unsightly, insecure premises, household garbage strewn about, squatters, weeds and more.

Although the owner did respond when requested to take action on the property, the response was “usually delayed and the required actions taken are at best minimal, and required actions are seldom fully addressed,” according to the staff report.

“In addition, Michael Bourdon, Assistant Fire Chief considers the building to be a fire and life safety hazard for both the Fire Department and trespassers who may inhabit them.”

Under Section 74 of the Community Charter, Council can declare that the property

“is a nuisance and a danger to health and life safety and is so dilapidated and unclean condition as to be offensive to the community,” according to the report.

Since attempts to bring the property into compliance were unsuccessful, city officials opted for the remediation order.

A ‘No Occupancy’ order was posted on the building on July 17, 2014 after an inspection deemed it unsafe, and there was evidence of squatters living in the boarded-up single story house.

The owners, listed in city documents as Henry and Helena Klop, will be given an opportunity to request additional time to complete the remedial action or for reconsideration of it.

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