The District of Taylor is at a standstill trying to get an absentee landowner to clean up their unsightly and dangerous property, and is soon likely to foot the bill itself.
The property at 10471-102nd Street has been the subject of a bylaw complaint since February, and is littered with cars and automotive products that are starting to leach into the ground and posing risks to the community, staff say.
Attempts to send the owner a cleanup order have been unsuccessful. While they are no longer living in Taylor, no one knows whether they’re still in the province, or even in the country.
“We’re basically at a standstill now,” Enzo Calla, deputy fire chief, told council on Monday.
Councillors gave staff Calla the OK to hire a contractor to cleanup the property, pending one final notice to the owner, including placing a boulevard billboard sign outside the home.
It’s unlikely to make much of a difference. It’s believed a squatter lives on the property, and Calla notes it's well-known to police, with more than a dozen break-ins, thefts, and assaults there since 2017.
District staff have already towed out three derelict vehicles from right-of-ways that were in the way of public works. A vermin outbreak is feared if the property isn't cleaned up.
The work is estimated to cost the district up to $10,000.
A staff report notes the district could recoup this either by invoicing the owner or collecting through their property taxes. However, chief administrative officer Andrew Young noted their taxes are already in arrears — a sign the property is likely headed for the auction block.
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