City orders house demolition in Parksville

The residence at the corner of Pym and Soreil has been the subject of complaints for more than a decade

The subject of complaints from neighbours for 13 years, a house at the corner of Pym and Soriel in Parksville now has a demolition order placed on it by city council.

The house at 526 Pym Street was the site of a fire in October of last year. On Monday night, council unanimously passed a motion deeming the property unsafe and ordering it demolished — along with the removal of all materials — within 30 days. The city now has the authority to do the work and bill the owner if the order is not followed.

There were no comments from councillors Monday night as they passed the order.

After the fire in late October, neighbour Al Bryans spoke about his frustration related to the house.

“I tried to declare the place a fire hazard because of all the junk,” said Bryans. “It was just one hell of a mess but we couldn’t get anything done.”

Mayor Marc Lefebvre, who was not present at the council meeting Monday night, confirmed in October the city had received complaints about the residence.

“Yes, I was certainly aware of this,” said the mayor. “I had been to see the neighbours a couple of times.”

Also in October, Parksville Fire Department Chief Banks said his department just can’t declare some residence a fire hazard and take unilateral action. “We’re very limited as to what we can do, if anything,” said Banks. “We don’t have that authority.”

“It’s something as a mayor I find extremely frustrating,” Lefebvre said at the time. “The frustration comes from the number of hoops you have to jump through to legally get people to do something.”

See Tuesday’s edition of  The NEWS for more from Monday night’s council meeting.

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