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UPDATE: Owners of former heritage house denied extension for demolition work

(UPDATE: July 6 @ 5:30 pm) – During Tuesday’s city council meeting, the owners of a heritage house that burned down earlier this year were denied an extended deadline to remove the debris.

In March, the Warren House was destroyed by a fire and the city declared the property to be unsafe and “so unsightly and untidy as to be a nuisance.”

Then, in early June, the city confirmed that the deadline for site cleanup would be July 11, 2022.

However, the owners were hoping that city council would give them until the end of September to finish demolition at 434 Lakeshore Drive West.

City staff notified council that the demolition permits were ready for pickup as of Tuesday afternoon.

That permit will require demolition work to begin within 30 days.

Staff also said that the owners’ insurance company was now on board to begin the work, something that wasn’t the case when council was first introduced to this case in early June.

“It’s right on our Lakeshore Drive, it is so evident. It’s just right in everyone’s view. It highlights the danger when we speak about safety and health scenarios,” noted councillor Judy Sentes.

Staff voted unanimously to deny the request to extend the deadline to September.


(Original story: July 5 @ 11 am) – The owners of a heritage house that burned down in March of this year are requesting more time to clear the site of the former house.

On Tuesday, Penticton city staff will be presenting to city council once again but this time the owners of the former heritage building have submitted a letter explaining their difficulties.

The Warren House, located at 4334 Lakeshore Drive, was destroyed by a fire in March 2022.

On June 7, Penticton City Council agreed to set the deadline for site cleanup on July 11, 2022.

At the time, staff explained that if the owners did not complete the demolition and other required actions by that time, the city would take over the work.

However, the owners would be in debt with the city which would be collected in the same way as property taxes.

On June 9, staff informed the owners through an email that the deadline had been set.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia and City of Penticton

Two weeks later, the city received a letter from the owners requesting that the deadline be extended to Sept. 26.

Paul Ruutel’s letter points to a number of reasons that they are unable to meet this deadline, including requiring demolition permits and difficulty finding a contractor to do the work.

“In the most realistic case the works will be completed in 9 to 12 weeks. The worst case scenario suggests a timeline of 15 to 18 weeks,” writes Ruutel in his letter which will be presented to city council.

“These timelines are in line with the City’s expectation for demolition and site clearance as demolition permits are valid for 90 days.”

Ruutel did submit a demolition permit on June 24. He says the city has yet to approve a pre-demolition hazardous material assessment report and site clearance report.

However, city staff’s report explains that they have informed the Ruutels that these two reports were not required for their demolition permit application.

"The city has also reiterated that the need for additional tests and abatement was for the operator of the Campbell Mountain Landfill, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, to determine," explain city staff.

Penticton City Council will return to this topic during the regular meeting on Tuesday at 1 pm.

Council could stick to the original July 11 deadline, extend the deadline to Sept. 26 or cancel the remedial action requirements.



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