A Port Alberni property owner says he will not be removing the illegal trailers on his property that he has been using to house the homeless.
The Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue, located across from the bottle depot, was discussed at Port Alberni City Council back in November. The property was slapped with a remediation order with 18 requirements, including the removal of all trailers and motorhomes on the property.
However, one of the owners, Randy Brown, has asked for a reconsideration of that order.
The city hasn’t had a chance to inspect the property yet, but some zoning and bylaw infractions are “quite obvious still,” said Manager of Community Safety Gaylene Thorogood during a council meeting on Monday, Jan. 11.
Brown attended the Jan. 11 meeting virtually and emphasized that he does not intend on removing the trailers.
“I have basically taken 18 people off the streets of Port Alberni and I’m housing them in these trailers,” he said.
Councillor Ron Corbeil noted that the apartments do not have a fire safety plan, which is a requirement in the remediation orders, and expressed concern about a potential fire.
Councillor Ron Paulson described the housing situation at the Wintergreen Apartments as “sub-human conditions” and confirmed the remedial action requirements.
“It looks to me like it’s just running ad hoc,” said Paulson. “That there’s income being derived with very little money being put back into the facilities.”
Council agreed to give Brown an additional 14 days to clean things up—including removal of the trailers—before the city takes over. Councillors Cindy Solda and Debbie Haggard voted against this motion.
“I have calls from other owners of homes around that area,” said Solda. “They’re complaining about their safety, what they’ve witnessed. Other properties that Mr. Brown owns still need to be looked after. Things are getting piecemealed and nothing’s getting done.”