Nivia Alfaro

Address mixup leaves Nanaimo business owner stuck in the middle

NANAIMO – City of Nanaimo error results in houses on Howard Avenue incorrectly addressed.

A mix-up by the City of Nanaimo has put a number of homeowners in an odd situation and left a local businesswoman stuck in the middle. Nivia Alfaro has been operating Little Garden Family Child Care from the comfort of her home on 649 Howard Ave., located between Regal Street and Sixth Street, for decades. When facing Alfaro’s home, the houses to the left are all odd numbered and increase southbound as intended. Last year, a new subdivision was constructed on Howard Avenue between Regal Street and Sandy Court, resulting in homes to the right of Alfaro’s house.That wouldn’t be a problem for Alfaro, except that the closest house to hers in the new subdivision is numbered 651, leaving the daycare operator stuck in the middle of two houses with higher numbers.“People have been asking me,” Alfaro said. “They are looking for the address and they see that both ways [on Howard Avenue] are increasing.”It was only about a month ago that Alfaro learned about the address mixed up, after people pointed it out to her. That’s when Alfaro reached out to the City of Nanaimo for solution, who, she said, offered her $500 in compensation if she would agree to have her address changed.

Alfaro turned down the offer because it would cost her her family far more money to change everything including personal identification, credit cards, business licences and land titles.

Carla Burgmann, real estate clerk for the City of Nanaimo, told the News Bulletin that the daycare owner will get to keep her address.

“Our first approach was to remedy the situation and offer her compensation under our bylaw to do,” Burgmann said. “She didn’t want to because of the effect that it would have on her business so we said that is fine.”

She said the address mix-up is nothing more than human error and her department is working on an alternate plan that would see the residents of the new subdivision assigned new sequential addresses.

Whenever a brand new residential subdivision is planned in Nanaimo, the city’s subdivision department reviews the plans proposed by the developer. Following the approval by a subdivision approving officer, the department will then assign the development a block of addresses.

Burgmann said letters were sent out last Friday to homeowners in the subdivision, informing them about the mix-up in addresses and the city’s intention to correct the issue.

“We have contacted them and sent them a letter to let them know that we are out of sequence and have offered them the compensation money that is allowable under the bylaw and we are going to go from there,” she said.Alfaro has had people ask her about the addresses on Howard, but she said she is happy that her address won’t be changing.

“I am happy … Everything is fixed for me,” she said.

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