An Extension house slapped with a nuisance property designation on Monday is the “scourge” of the neighbourhood, says a nearby resident.
Two houses at 2020 Swordfern Rd. in Extension and 573 Rosehill St. were given nuisance labels by the City of Nanaimo after numerous police and bylaw calls, for such things as drugs, stolen property and assault.
A city report shows the Nanaimo RCMP have been called to the Rosehill address 40 times since January with 22 of those associated with nuisance activity. The Swordfern house, which had 74 calls in total and eight-nuisance related calls this year, has been a thorn in the side of the Nanaimo RCMP for many months, according to Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, adding it’s having a significant impact on that street and ones surrounding it.
Police referred the properties to council months ago, said O’Brien, who calls a nuisance designation a last recourse after every last opportunity is given to the owners or landlords to address the negative issues arising from their property.
A city report confirms the issues at the two properties have not been successfully resolved. Under this nuisance designation, approved at a council meeting on Monday, the city can now charge for nuisance-related call outs, which includes an hourly rate for emergency personnel.
“For a property to be deemed a nuisance property it’s at the upper echelon of total [unacceptability],” O’Brien said.
John and Jennifer Insley, who live in the Extension area, said there has been attendance by ambulance and police, parties, fights and traffic at the Swordfern house. It was like a thorough fare, said Jennifer Insley, who said having her family across from the house has made her angry, afraid and frustrated – and that it’s the same for her other neighbours, who have all banded together.
She calls the property the “scourge of the neighbourhood, and told the News Bulletin problems began last year.
“The police have been so amazing with us,” she said. “What they did was just keep on putting the heat on these people.”
No Rosehill-area resident contacted by the News Bulletin would go on record about the nuisance property there, although described the situation as horrific, with there being coming and going of cars all the time, noise and drugs.
O’Brien said calls have included minor disturbances, prostitution, drug trafficking, possession of stolen property and noise disturbances. Arrests were also made in a street crime bust last week which included at least three people connected to the Rosehill property, according to O’Brien.
“These residences are housing people who are involved in active criminal activity and they have no respect for themselves or their neighbours and they feel they can just run rampant over the neighborhood and it’s not being tolerated,” O’Brien said.
This year the city also designated other properties as nuisances, including 564 Fifth St., known as King Arthur’s Court, and 522 Hecate St.