Daniel Thompson was instructed to bring a complete structural analysis report on 349 Little Harbour Rd. before New Glasgow town council on Oct. 3 specifically entailing the work needed on the property to make it livable.
“It’s an extension for council’s consideration. They have extended their decision to October 3, and that basically is giving (Thompson) enough time to produce a structural analysis report,” said executive assistant Kelly Sloan.
At Monday’s meeting, Thompson told council he is still working on making the house habitable.
The property has been a contentious issue for the town since inspections on it were carried out in 2010, when a structural engineer’s report and copy of the electrical inspector’s report were requested from council. The house has been the subject of numerous unsightly property complaints from residents.
In March 2015, Thompson was granted 90 days to do the necessary work to avoid having the house demolished.
“Since that time, no real effort has been made, from what we can see, to get the house in livable condition,” said Troy Baker, a bylaw enforcement officer with New Glasgow.
Baker also suggested the condition of the house could encourage illegal squatting.
“From what I see, this is two years after you were last contacted. What’s important in all of this is that this is becoming an unsafe property – and to be honest, this has been going on for seven years,” said Mayor Nancy Dicks, who expressed her concern for the property’s many safety problems.
Building official Mike Thompson indicated the foundation of the house has failed. Other outstanding structural deficiencies include an unsecure back door, a roof that needs to be re-shingled and a front porch that either needs to be repaired or replaced.
Thompson, who was present at the meeting, said work is taking place to address those issues – and that despite the concerns of neighbours, it has been going on recently. He claimed the foundation is being repaired, and that wiring in the house is properly installed.
Lewis responded by saying the house looks exactly like it did a month ago, noting that neighbours have been regularly complaining to him.
“They’re calling me, and they’re saying nothing’s going on – that somebody dug a hole in the back and that’s the way it stayed,” said Lewis. “Digging a hole at the back of the house…and jacking it up…is not going to save what’s there. It looks like it needs a whole new foundation.”
Thompson disagreed, saying a new foundation is partially in place. He added that he’d be glad to keep any concerned neighbours apprised of what’s going on.
“If you’re really serious about doing something with that home, seven years is a long time to just let it get to where we are today,” responded Lewis.
At Monday’s meeting, Thompson objected to the short notice he was given, saying he only found out he was expected to appear before council at 4:30 p.m. the day of the meeting.
Sloan stated that the town sent a registered letter to Thompson’s address notifying him about the meeting – and that a notice was posted on the house, as well.
Thompson told council he had changed addresses, and didn’t receive the letter.
Sloan said, “it’s the responsibility of property owners to make any address changes. We don’t profess to know when people moved or changed their mailing address, so that is his responsibility. We sent the registered letter to the information we had on file.”
All members of council except Lewis voted in favour of the motion to give two weeks for Thompson to get a structural analysis done on his property.