City orders demolition of ‘rundown’ home

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The City of Fort St. John approved a decision to move forward with demolishing a neglected house on 96th Avenue.

Council has decided to give the owner of the house 30 days to demolish the building himself – and if he doesn’t within the time given, the City will send employees into the property to demolish it instead.

If the City has to take care of demolishing the building, they have said the fees incurred to do so will be ‘payable forthwith on demand.’

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If they are still unpaid by December 31st of this year the costs will be deemed ‘taxes in arrears’ and ‘shall be collected in the same manner and with the like remedies as ordinary taxes on land and improvements,’ under the Community Charter.

Should the owner decide to appeal this decision, he has a 14-day period to request reconsideration from Council in writing and send it in.

Bylaw officials inspected the house in April of this year, following complaints that it was damaged and unsafe. They determined that it was in a ‘very dilapidated state.’

The house is sliding off its foundation, has boarded up windows and doors, and the siding of the house falling off – as well as the roof.

According to the City, no utilities had been operating since 2013.

A registered letter was sent on May 19th, and no remedy was provided by the owner within the 30-day notice, ending on June 19th. When a final inspection conducted the same day, no work appeared to be done on the property either.

The City said there is evidence of squatters, and their presence within the house is creating situations where an accidental fire could occur, and cause other public safety issues.

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