The Regional District of Nanaimo has given a property owner on Horne Lake Road 30 days to clean up the accumulated items some other residents feel is impacting the aesthetics and also the environment of the neighbourhood.
The nine-acre undeveloped parcel in Area H (Bowser, Qualicum Bay, Deep Bay), has been the subject of complaints from residents in the area. The land has reportedly been used to accumulate recreational vehicles, boats, trailers, discarded automobile parts, scrap metal, disused construction materials and pallets.
Some residents appeared before the RDN board at its regular meeting Dec. 6 to share their frustrations.
“It is very well-concealed from Horne Lake Road, not easily accessible,” said Elsa Heeps, who owns an acreage in the area. “This is where most of the pallets get dropped off and burned. This is also where the derelict junk, semi-trailers, RVs, old vehicles and everything else is dumped.”
George Flannery said the unsightly condition of the land was not their biggest concern.
“Burning pallets is one thing but dumping caustic liquids, oil and all those kind of things is unacceptable,” said Flannery. “It should not be acceptable to anybody.”
Building and Bylaw Services manager, Tom Armet, informed the RDN board this has been a longstanding issue, since 2015. Armet said at that time, the RDN hired a contractor to clean up the place and charged the bill to the owner.
The problem resurfaced again and Armet said, following staff investigation prompted by the multiple complaints, they found the property in contravention of the Unsightly Premises Regulatory Bylaw.
“They were directed verbally and in writing to clean up the property and to cease unauthorized use and activities,” said Armet. “And to date (the owner) has failed to remedy the condition of the property. Area residents continue to express concerns to the RDN about the persistent accumulation of materials and the unsightly condition of the property. Concerns have also been expressed fire hazards in particular and potential environmental impact relating to the storage of vehicles and other materials on the property.”
Armet said staff’s last visit to the property on Nov. 23 showed that some work was done, but not enough.
The RDN board endorsed staff recommendation to direct the owner to remove all the identified accumulation within 30 days or the work will be undertaken by the regional district or its agents at the owner’s cost.