Kelowna city council voted unanimously to keep the remedial action order on a dilapidated home at 424 Gibson Road, despite an appeal from the owner and a neighbour.
Councillors cited concerns over the deteriorating state of the house, calling it a serious life and safety issue. Others cited no confidence in the owner’s ability to clean up the property, especially since complaints have been logged for 11 years.
“I support the remedial action order. I believe that the city has been more than fair in this case,” said Mayor Colin Basran.
Councillor Mohini Singh said she understands that the owner is in a tough situation, but something needs to be done. “I have been receiving complaints about this property as long as I have been on council… I have no confidence anything can be done in a year,” said Singh.
The motion comes after Kelowna City Council approved a full demolition of the site on July 26. The site has been of concern to neighbours since owner Janusz Grelecki purchased the home in 2010. Several complaints regarding the unsightly state of the house, construction traffic, waste storage and other nuisances have resulted in 24 visits to the property by city staff. According to a city report, this isn’t the first time Grelecki has received complaints – neighbours have been complaining since he was a tenant at another property on Gibson Road.
Grelecki filed to appeal the remedial action order after councillors voted to approve a full demolition of his property on July 26. He said he has not received complaints about his property and was completely blindsided when he was served a notice by the city to apply for a demolition permit. He said it will take him another year to clean up the property and that renovations had to be stopped because of some urgent personal matters.
“Everything came as a shock. If people have been complaining about the house in the past four years, why did it take the city so long?” he asked.
Paul Davies, a neighbour and Gibson Road resident, agreed. City council made a terrible decision to order a full demolition on the property, urging council to amend the motion instead. He also claimed that the report council received was factually incorrect and contained numerous red flags, including spelling errors and contradictory statements.
“Council needs to give this more consideration and a little more time,” Davies said.
Grelecki will have to apply for a demolition permit by Aug. 9. Within 42 days, he needs to remove all contents from the site. He will also have to have it clear the property of hazardous materials within 60 days. Within four months, the whole site has to be levelled.