The ugly side of Spring

With the vanishing of the snow drifts in my yard, one of the highlights of Spring is the resulting and stunning display of crocus I get to enjoy.

With the vanishing of the snow drifts in my yard, one of the highlights of Spring is the resulting and stunning display of crocus I get to enjoy.

One of the low lights of the vanishing snowbanks around town – as mentioned by letter writer Roma Burnett on the next page – is the uncovering of the unsightly premises that we have to put up with year after year after year.

At the municipal election all-candidates meeting two and a half years ago a member of the public raised the issue of these eyesores and called for action.

The answer was essentially, “There’s nothing we can do about it”, the same lame answer council/administration had been giving us for years.

One of the reasons I recall being touted on more than one occasion was the city might find itself in court if the target of its clean up order fought back.

And it might lose.

Well fear not city fathers, it’s all good.

Just check out the April 7 Castlegar News story.

In it you will find that the municipality and the owners of a downtown building had been at loggerheads over the property for more than 10 years – time period sound familiar?

Castlegar council finally decided enough was enough in February of last year and ordered the building’s demolition after city staff inspected it and found numerous building code violations and safety hazards.

The owners challenged the order and off they went to court.

In November of last year the BC Supreme Court found that the city was justified in issuing the order.

Justice Lynn Smith’s decision included the following: “(The city) also had evidence of multiple complaints with regard to the property as an unsightly nuisance.”

And, “There was no evidence before council that the owner proposed to fix up the property, or to sell it.”

And last month the Court of Appeal upheld Smith’s ruling.

Castlegar is about to start demolition and the property owners will be billed for the cost.

As they say on that TV show, myth busted.

 

Northern Sentinel