A residence in Nanaimo’s Harewood neighbourhood has been added to the City of Nanaimo’s list of nuisance properties.
City council made the designation regarding 430 Murray St. at a council meeting Monday, Jan. 16.
The property was already on the city’s and the RCMP’s radar for some time, but the situation came to a head when the RCMP’s emergency response team responded to the property in December to help arrest a suspect who had allegedly been involved in a stabbing near downtown.
According to the Nanaimo RCMP, the property was already well-known for having placed “considerable pressure” on nearby residents who have endured disturbances and police callouts at all hours of the day.
“In our opinion, the use of the site, the operation of the site, is unreasonably interfering with persons’ use and enjoyment of property and has required repeated calls for police services to abate nuisances,” said Dale Lindsay, the city’s general manager of development services.
A staff report to council included a letter from Nanaimo RCMP Supt. Lisa Fletcher, who noted there were 58 calls for police services over the past year.
“This property has been noted to be disruptive to the rest of the surrounding community and its residents and they have expressed concern for their safety,” she noted.
The letter included a listing of complaints to police from residents, the majority of which were for suspected drug activity.
Coun. Janice Perrino asked if a nuisance property abatement designation was the strongest course of action the city could take immediately.
“I look at this, 58 calls over the past year to the RCMP,” Perrino said. “I think to myself, we need the RCMP just to stay right there, you know, and be on guard. This is crazy.”
Laberge said there are a number of measures the city could take, including going to court to seek “fairly significant sanctions” under the community charter, but the nuisance property abatement is the logical first step to bring the property into compliance.
Council unanimously declared 430 Murray St. a nuisance property, making the property owner liable for costs of municipal services, including policing, required to address nuisance activities.
At the same meeting, 264 Nicol St., home of the Nanaimo Area Network of Drug Users, was also designated a nuisance property.