Kitimat council given outline on how to fight unsightly homes

The outline on how to handle unsightly homes was provided to council by Kitimat district staff.

Kitimat Council has taken in a report from the staff which sets out the process for dealing with unsightly premises in Kitimat.

The report from the District’s Deputy Chief Administrative Officer lays out three ways the town can enforce unsightly properties in town. The first is using tickets, and is said to be best used for easily rectified problems, such as brushing the yard or removing debris.

Second is court-ordered enforcement for clean-up or rehabilitation. Finally, the Community Charter allows for remedial action on properties, which does call for an extensive process which brings the matter to council. If work eventually has to be undertaken by the District then that cost is added to that homeowner’s property tax bill.

Historically there have been hurdles to effectively enforcing unsightly properties, notably the legal aspect. “I know it’s really tough when you’re living next to something that doesn’t look overly great but if it’s something that’s still inhabitable and it’s more of the aesthetics, it’s something you have to try to work through,” said Warren Waycheshen, referring to the difficulty in convincing a court that a home was a nuisance through law, rather than simply being bad looking.

In other communities enforcement has also been met with threats of violence to municipal workers, he said.

The definition of a ‘nuisance’ property under the Community Charter is “so dilapidated or unclean as to be offensive to the community.”

The house, staff’s report continues, must be a nuisance in law “to the surrounding area, such that it is affecting other people’s enjoyment of their properties.” Councillors were supportive of the three-pronged process the town could take (tickets, court, or remediation) and welcomed a quicker pace to deal with properties.

“We’ve received letters and pictures of some very ugly properties and if we can use municipal ticket information systems to go to the full max…then so be it. Some of these properties, they’re hideous,” said Mario Feldhoff.

Rob Goffinet added during debate that “We’ve been vexed long enough as a community with this problem.”

Just Posted

Kitimat’s Water Quality Advisory, which has been in place for just over a week, has been lifted. (Black Press file photo)
Water Quality Advisory in Kitimat lifted

The district has been under a Water Quality Advisory since June 2

On June 16 at 6 p.m., the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a public presentation and discussion with Happipad, a social enterprise, to talk about solutions for affordable housing Kitimat. (Happipad photo)
Affordable housing to be focus of Kitimat Chamber of Commerce meeting

Figures indicate the average Kitimat household needs to make more than $92,000 a year

(District of Kitimat logo)
Hirsch Creek Bridge restricted to single lane traffic

The district is restricting the bridge traffic to legal highway loads only

Artist’s illustration of the proposed Kitimat LNG facility at Bish Cove near Kitimat. (Kitimat LNG illustration)
Haisla Nation surprised by Woodside pull out from Kitimat LNG project

Haisla Nation council states its main focus is now on developing the Haisla-led Cedar LNG project

(Northern Health logo)
Pop-up vaccine clinic tomorrow at the Save-on-Foods parking lot in Kitimat

The clinic will be this Friday, June 11 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

Most Read