This derelict house has come right off its foundation, and is unsafe to enter. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

‘Major eyesore’ and other derelict buildings to be torn down in Lake Cowichan

There’s no action on J.H. Boyd building yet, but these are starting the wrecking ball swinging

“It’s been a long process,” said Lake Cowichan Coun. Tim McGonigle as he and colleagues voted to call in the heavy equipment to deal with several derelict buildings in town.

These include buildings located where Neva and MacDonald Roads end, just south of Highway 18, plus a building at 182 Neva Rd., called “a major eyesore”.

All have been the subject of requests and discussions at Lake Cowichan council tables for some time, and Town CAO Joe Fernandez presented a report Aug. 28 that urged councillors to take some action, following the procedures set out in the Community Charter. They followed his advice.

“With the public’s concerns regarding vacant buildings, their dilapidated condition, as well as concerns about public safety, council has directed staff at various times to seek voluntary compliance from the property owners that are the subject of remedial orders,” Fernandez said.

Talking about the buildings on Neva Road just south of Highway 18, Fernandez said, “The owner or owners of the buildings have ignored directives from this office on remedying unsafe and hazardous conditions on the property under section 72 and 73 of the Community Charter and these despite the Town’s compliance with process requirements spelled out under sections 76, 77, and 78 of the Community Charter.

“There is one vacant building (civic address 226 Neva Rd.) that is unstable and which must be removed promptly. With council’s approval, a hazardous material assessment will be conducted on the building with a call for proposals to have the building removed issued. All attendant costs relating to the remedial action will be assessed against the owners of the property as provided for under section 80 of the Community Charter.”

The other building nearby, located at 250 Neva Rd. near Highway 18 is also slated for demolition.

“The above property will require a hazard material assessment with demolition to occur soon after. In the meantime, the building will have to be boarded [up],” Fernandez said.

The final building, located at 182 Neva Rd. is, Fernandez said, “not fit for human habitation at this time [and is] so dilapidated and unsafe with accessibility to the public at large that it has the potential to create hazardous conditions for the general public and particularly the neighbours. The back of the house has caved in and a large tree has grown through the back of the house. It is a major eyesore. Staff has directed that a hazardous material assessment be conducted on the building.

“The owner of the ‘residence’ has ignored directives from this office on remedying unsafe and hazardous conditions on the property…Council authorization is required to issue a call for proposals to demolish and remove the building.”

McGonigle reiterated, too, that the Town has attempted, while dealing with this difficult issue, to keep in mind the dignity of property owners and to give them time to reply to requests for action.

Asked later when the wrecking ball might start work on the derelict J.H. Boyd School, Mayor Ross Forrest could only say that the Town “is working on it.”

 

A tree growing right through the house is a pretty good indicator that it’s time this building at 182 Neva Rd. came down, too. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

Just Posted

Midget Bulldogs come within a rouge of upsetting league leaders

Cowichan football team shocks North Langley

Student arrested at Maple Bay Elementary

Pupils never in danger, incident unrelated to the school

Cowichan Capitals hope to regain confidence after losses

Caps drop two at home against division rivals

Nov. 15 is for the ‘forgotten mourners’

The holiday season is approaching and is a particularly difficult time for… Continue reading

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Letters shed light on state of mind of B.C. mom accused of daughter’s murder

Trial of South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone begins in BC Supreme Court

Vancouver man must pay $22,000 after breaking strata rules

Peter Gordon took his fight over his rented condo to the civil resolution tribunal, but lost

Most Read