House a hazard, say neighbours

  • Dec. 7, 2012 8:00 a.m.

Several Port Clements residents are appealing to the village to do something about a Yakoun Street property that they believe is a hazard to neighbouring houses. Greg and Betty Stewart attended Monday night’s council meeting (Dec. 3), telling council members that the trailer and construction materials at 21 Yakoun Street pose a threat to their home during wind storms. During the hurricane-force winds of Nov. 22, the Stewarts said, boards blew off the trailer and hit the side of their house, creasing the aluminum siding, embedding wood splinters in their window frame, and breaking a mirror inside. The most disturbing thing, they said, was that the same property caused damage during the Halloween storm of 2010, when a portion of the carport roof sailed off, and it appears that the property owner has done nothing to fix the issues since then. “This is insane and it’s been going on for two years,” Ms Stewart said. “We just don’t want to get hit by flying boards or roofs.” The Stewarts wrote a lengthy letter to council explaining the situation that was also signed by two other neighbours, Marion Gaspar and Ken McKay. They are particularly concerned about what might happen to the roof in future wind storms, as it is held down by loose planks and buckets filled with rocks and gravel. Mr. Stewart said he wanted to know whether there is anything the village can do about the property under the Community Charter. If the answer is no, he said, he will find a different way to fix the problem. “As homeowners, we’re trying to do as much due diligence as we can to protect ourselves,” he said. Administrator Kim Mushynsky said it doesn’t appear that the property contravenes any village bylaws. If there is a remedy under the Community Charter, she said, it will not be a quick process. Council members said they are aware of the situation and would like to find a way to help the owner make the property safer. “We need to try to think outside the box and come to a solution,” said councillor Urs Thomas. “We have to find a way, we either help him, or find someone to help him.” Councillor Kaz Falconbridge said he visited the property last week to see what was going on and gave the owner a quote for fixing the roof. However, he said, he doesn’t have time to take on a roofing job right now. After discussion, council members voted to have Ms Mushynsky respond to the Stewarts’ letter and let them know whether the village can do anything.