Strata residents irked by ‘disgraceful’ city-owned property

The city property in question is an empty lot full of bushes and tree branches

The strata council of a downtown complex wants the city to clean up its mess.

Beverley Ebert, secretary of the strata at Pacific Plaza, said the council is concerned about an adjoining, city-owned property to the north of their building.

Ebert, in a letter to city council which is a matter of public record, said the property is “a fire hazard and a disgrace to the area.”

The city property in question is an empty lot full of bushes and tree branches at 325 Beech Street. Pacific Plaza, which is off to the side of City Hall, is next door.

Ebert said in her letter that the property has been neglected and is an eyesore.

“Trees and branches have been cut down over the years and the remains have been left on the bank for junk to accumulate and pose a threat to our homes,” Ebert wrote.

She also offered to have the strata council directors meet with city council to show them the condition of the site.

Council received Ebert’s letter at its July 6 meeting and Coun. Charlie Cornfield said he was under the impression that the Beech site had been dealt with.

“I thought that we had budgeted for this area to be cleaned up and brushed out in last year’s budget,” Cornfield said.

Dave Morris, the city’s manger of facilities and supplies, said he wasn’t aware that that was the case.

“That is not my recollection but we can look into this and get back to council either in a report or on a bulletin item for further action,” Morris said.

Cornfield said he would be glad to get back some more information.

“I thought there was some work to be done there, so if staff were to bring back a report that would be great,” Cornfield said.

From time to time, staff do bring reports to council on problem properties – but not usually on city-owned properties.

Council has been using a remedial action tool which involves the city’s bylaw officer bringing reports to council on properties that have fallen into disrepair, have garbage accumulating on their law, or have overgrown hedges and shrubs. Once council approves the remedial action, the property owners have 30 days to clean up their property before the city will go in and do the work at the owner’s expense.