Richmond council has ordered two homes in the southwest corner of the city be demolished.
At a special council meeting on Monday, Richmond council used, for the first time, its authority through the Community Charter to order two homes, a house at 10280 Springmont Dr. and a duplex at 10140 and 10160 Cornerbrook Cres., to be demolished.
If they aren’t gone within 60 days of the decision, council will have them demolished with the cost going back to the property owner.
According to a staff report to council, the number of complaints about nuisance properties that are unattended and vacant is rising.
The Springmont Drive property has been getting complaints since March 2017, first that the vacant home wasn’t properly boarded up, then about garbage, debris and long grass. There were also complaints about squatters. Seven complaints were received at the time the report was written, and Carli Williams, the city’s manager of community bylaws and licencing, explained three more complaints were since received. Bylaw officers visited the property 16 times during this time period. The report states the house is “uninhabitable.”
The duplex at 10140/10160 Cornerbrook Cres. has been empty since 2015 when there was a fatal fire.
The fire in the home killed a boy and his grandmother. Last fall, Surjit Singh Dosanjh was found guilty of two counts of manslaughter in connection with the fire that killed his son and mother-in-law.
The property is currently owned by Leslie Glen Cohen and Leila and Nizar Bhimani, according to the staff report.
City staff have received six complaints about long grass, weeds, garbage, fencing and squatters. It has been inspected 26 times.
The owner of the Springmont Drive house, Ka Lei, was at the council meeting and said he was planning to get a demolition permit and have the house taken down.
Council voted unanimously to demand the demolition of both homes and added requirements for non-toxic pest control measures to reduce the impact on neighbours after the demolition.