Skip to content

Sechelt issues remedial action order for long-time problem property

After years of complaints and more than 80 staff interactions, district staff estimated remediation could cost $25,000
After four years and 80 interactions between staff and the property owner, a remedial order was authorized for the problematic property.

The District of Sechelt authorized a remedial action order for what has become a problematic property after years of neighbourhood turmoil. 

The order gives the property owner 30 days to comply with the Property Maintenance Bylaw. 

If they do not meet the requirements at that time, staff are authorized to contact a service provider to bring the property into compliance. 

The report states staff conservatively estimated the remediation cost for removal and disposal at $25,000 – which would be recovered from the property owner. 

Since August 2020, the district has received complaints concerning appliances, old furniture, building materials, vehicles and industrial tents accumulating in the yard at 5708 Salmon Dr., as nearby residents have sought assistance in getting their neighbour to remedy what they call “unsightly conditions.”

Sechelt’s July 3 regular meeting agenda included the entire violations chronology, where James Nyhus, Sechelt chief building official, highlighted there have been more than 80 interactions between the staff and property owner.   

During this time, nine bylaw fines have been administered, following regular site visits, emails, phone calls and other enforcement measures taken by district staff. 

Nyhus said that leading up to this meeting, the property owner had made an effort to tidy the property, “But as our bylaw officer visited yesterday [July 2] and examined the progress, it has fallen short of compliance,” he said.

Nyhus also said as of July 2 there were several vehicles unlicensed for road use.

The property owner, Greg Kusnir said the bylaw officer who visited the property told him the property now appeared tidy.

Kusnir said he received an email in the following days, which said although he had tidied the property as bylaws requested, there were concerns regarding the number of structures that have been erected on the property to store items and all the vehicles being stored in the property will require full insurance.

Kusnir explained he and his family have faced several mitigating circumstances while trying to remedy the property. 

Admitting the property “has been a disaster,” Kusnir said he originally planned to build a workshop for hobbies but health complications, including being on disability for a year, interrupted that plan. 

He added that the vehicles on the property originally had storage insurance, which he thought was sufficient and has since fully licensed all of them. 

Understanding he had been out of compliance, Kusnir asked for two to three weeks to get his property under control before the remedial action order was issued.

Coun. Adam Shepherd asked if it was typical for staff to wait four years before issuing this type of order. 

Nyhus agreed they were “extremely lenient,” as staff have been aware of the health issues and challenges facing the family. 

“But we finally arrived at a point where the nuisance was ongoing. And really, we had a duty or responsibility to the neighbourhood,” he said.

Coun. Alton Toth proposed an amendment, extending the order to 45 days in order to give Kusnir the time he asked for.

Reiterating that this has gone on for years and the 30 days in the remedial order will give Kusnir the time he requested, the amendment was defeated and council unanimously agreed to enact the Remedial Action Order with 30 days to comply.

Jordan Copp is the Coast Reporter’s civic and Indigenous affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.