Neighbours clean up an area of Milton Street around a drug house that was declared a nuisance property by the City of Nanaimo last month. (Photo submitted)

Neighbours clean up an area of Milton Street around a drug house that was declared a nuisance property by the City of Nanaimo last month. (Photo submitted)

Neighbours try to clean up around nuisance drug house on Milton Street in Nanaimo

560 Milton St. was declared a nuisance property last month

It isn’t just a drug house that’s a nuisance, but also the area surrounding it, neighbours say.

Residents have taken it upon themselves to start clearing out trees, bushes and encampments close to 560 Milton St., which was declared a nuisance property by the City of Nanaimo at a meeting in July.

“The RCMP’s hands are tied and bylaw’s hands are tied, they can only do so much,” said resident Natalie Cunliffe. “It’s just a really good community initiative to show that if this is happening in other communities, it really does come down to the people that live there to make a change.”

Dave Laberge, the city’s manager of community safety, told councillors the property is a “tremendously busy drug house.”

A city staff report from July noted that police received 27 calls about the 560 Milton St. property since the start of 2020, typically complaints about “yelling, screaming, fighting and vehicles coming and going all hours of the night.” Nanaimo RCMP busted the house June 10 and arrested one of the occupants and allegedly seized an ounce of crystal methamphetamine, a small amount of fentanyl and cash.

“A number of other drug dealers quickly moved in and then the next piece that came in was one of these derelict RVs that was parked in the backyard which then became a staging area for prostitution and more drug dealing,” said Laberge.

City council, at the July meeting, voted unanimously to designate the house as a nuisance property, which allows staff to charge the homeowner for municipal services such as police resources.

Laberge reported that the owner of the house lives on the Sunshine Coast and met with City of Nanaimo staff in mid July; the homeowner did not attend the meeting at which the house was declared a nuisance property.

Cunliffe alleged that drug use and prostitution is now happening in an overgrown area close by that she called a “field of filth,” which is the where this week’s cleanup is happening.

“It’s unfortunate that we have to do that, but if we want to feel safe at night and not feel threatened by the actions of the house, we need to take a stand as a community and push back a bit,” she said.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

RCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Nanaimo man is offering a $300 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person who broke into his SUV and stole components from his drone. (News Bulletin file photo)
Drone owner offering reward after components stolen from his vehicle in Nanaimo

Vehicle break-in happened last month on Departure Bay Road

Regenerative farming that meets genuine needs should take priority over commercial recklessness, says columnist. (Stock photo)
Column: Hubris, greed causing humans to live destructively

Placing the economy as the top priority is licence to destroy natural systems, says columnist

Kyle Patrick McGuire was give a nine-month non-custodial sentencing to be followed by two years of probation on Wednesday, March 3, at the Nanaimo Law Courts. (PQB News file photo)
Bowser man sentenced to house arrest after guilty plea to child pornography offence

Nine-month non-custodial sentence to be followed by two years probation

A concept for development of the Green Thumb property in north Nanaimo. (Barefoot Planning and Design image)
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Develop land with care and thought

It’s getting to the point that you can’t go a block without seeing more apartments, says letter writer

Nanaimo Community Archives is looking for submissions from homeowners who took on exterior renovation projects, no matter how big or how small, for the first Heritage House Renovations Awards. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo archives holding first Heritage House Renovation Awards

Judges want photos and descriptions of exterior renovations that enhanced character of Nanaimo homes

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

A rendering of Front Street transportation improvements set to get underway as soon as next week. (McElhanney image/City of Nanaimo)
Work set to start on Front Street cycle track in downtown Nanaimo

Road work and street reconfiguration project scheduled to start in March, finish in May

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s board is forwarding a motion on illegal dumping to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities’ upcoming annual general meeting. (Kane Blake photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo motion seeks to ask province for help to combat illegal dumping

RDN resolution to be forwarded to Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read