North Cowichan council has called for demolition of problematic building at 9384 Cottonwood Rd. in Chemainus. (Citizen file)

Controversial Chemainus building must be torn down

Weight of evidence from bylaw enforcement staff and police is enough for North Cowichan council

That illegally-occupied studio/accessory building at 9384 Cottonwood Rd. in Chemainus has to go.

North Cowichan council has had enough of the problematic place, which has engendered 10 years worth of complaints, involving neighbours, bylaw enforcers, and police. It’s been described as a studio, a storage building, and other names, but, although not properly plumbed or wired for occupancy, people have been living in it.

Council has ordered the owner to demolish it within 30 days.

That owner, Webster Daniel Parker, appeared during the meeting Sept. 4, to tell councillors that he was getting rid of the tenant of the main house, who he claimed was the source of the trouble and replacing him with another, who he claimed was popular with his neighbours. Some rumbles from a group in the audience behind him gave the impression this might not be so, but no one stood up to speak.

Although Mayor Al Siebring had read into the record an extensive motion, explaining exactly what council was going to order in regards to the demolition, Parker never addressed that subject at all when he got up to the mic to speak.

Councillors heard from senior bylaw compliance officer Rachel Hastings about illegal tenants piping raw sewage right into the ground behind the building, and then, when that option was removed, using a spot outdoors as an open air latrine, and from RCMP Insp. Chris Bear about the steeply increasing number of times that police have been called out to the address in the past couple of years.

In the end, councillors were unanimous in declaring they’d had enough, and ordering the accessory building be demolished and the resulting debris be removed within 30 days of Parker receiving notice of the order.

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