Little done since house collapse

NANAIMO – City staff in contact with owner of property on Estevan Road.

Neighbours of a house that partially collapsed in March are wondering when the wreckage will be cleared.

The house at 1950 Estevan Rd. drew emergency crews fearing there might be casualties when one section of the structure caved in March 6. No one was injured, but aside from the city condemning the building, little appears to have happened since.

Daniel Bossart, who lives with his family next door, said that he trims back the blackberries on the property to keep them from growing through his fence and said at times the wind blows the smell of the decaying structure over neighbouring yards.

Bossart said he called the city in early June and was told the property had possibly been sold. A few weeks later two men came by to inspect the house for hazardous materials.

“That’s it. That was the last I heard and nothing more,” Bossart said.

Tom Weinreich, city manager of building inspections, said the property is not under new ownership, the hazardous materials survey has been done and the owner has made an agreement with a builder to work on the property.

Weinreich said he knows the builder and that he is reputable, but does most of his work in Fort McMurray, Alta.

“The problem is, of course, that he’s trying to juggle this thing,” Weinreich said. “I told [the property owner] this morning (Friday) that if things weren’t progressing I would have to forward this to bylaws and start down that path of getting a removal order. In the meantime, of course, my expectation is that the building permit comes in and the order goes away.”

He said the hazardous materials report indicated only a small amount of material needs to be dealt with.

“Very little work has to be done for the hazardous materials removal, so at least there’s not a lot of expense there and then once it’s gone it’s just basically a backhoe with a claw attachment and couple of dump trucks,” Weinreich said.