Fallen bricks, debris still a hazard at Kitchener building
Published Monday, April 15, 2019 7:02PM EDT
A city order to repair a Kitchener building has gone unanswered as fallen bricks lay in place from when they tumbled in January.
Residents in the area of 152 Shanley St. say they are fed up with the condition of the building, many opting to avoid walking near it at all.
With debris scattered on the sidewalk and road, one resident says it’s even found its way to her lawn. Claudia Fitzgerald lives in the area and says fibre glass from the rundown building has ended up on her property.
“We love the neighbourhood, it’s a beautiful neighbourhood, very diverse,” she says. “The only problem here, it’s this building.”
The former Electrohome building most recently made headlines when bricks began to fall to the street back in January.
“Every time we are outside, we worry something else is going to fall, because more bricks have been falling lately,” Fitzgerald says.
That prompted the City of Kitchener to issue an order to the owner to remedy the unsafe building.
“The owner was required to produce a structural engineer’s assessment on the one-storey building as well as the four-storey building,” explains Mike Seiling, the chief building official for the City of Kitchener.
Because of a pending tax assessment, city staff gave the owner extra time.
It was to be done by the beginning of February, but hasn’t been. Now, Seiling says he’s using his own powers to get the assessment done.
“Unfortunately at the 11th hour, the existing owner paid off the taxes owing and we’re back to a point where we have a nonresponsive, unresponsible property owner,” says Coun. Sarah Marsh.
She says that if the site remains the way it is, the city should carry out a cleanup and add the cost to the property’s taxes, similar to what happens if the city has to shovel a snow-covered sidewalk.
The structural assessment will decide what happens to 152 Shanley St.
Andrew Spylo, who the city names as its contact for the property, says he knows the building isn’t in great shape, but he doesn’t want to tear it down.
The city says it has also been in talks with him.