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House under renovation for six years

House under renovation for six years
House under renovation for six years

Frustrated neighbors claim City Hall is not doing enough to address safety issues and property code violations that have plagued a city center property for more than six years.

Neighbor Barbara Hoover looks on in frustration as the house at 366 Central Ave. has become a blot on her downtown neighborhood.

“My biggest concerns are safety and security,” Hoover told CTV News. “I’m really worried that someone is going to abuse or vandalize the property and that will have an impact on us.”

Overgrown plants block access to the front door, construction debris litters the porch, and the house appears to be in an overall state of disrepair.

According to Hoover, the exterior of the house has been the subject of neighborhood complaints for six years.

The first of two property standards was issued by the city in April 2018, but Hoover feels little progress has been made despite consultation with the city.

“I started contacting the city council and people in the city government, but it was just impossible to get a response from the city government,” she explains.

The home at 366 Central Ave., seen on July 9, 2024, has been the subject of numerous complaints from neighbors. (Daryl Newcombe/CTV News London)

In a statement, the city wrote: “Currently, both Municipal Compliance and Building have active orders in place regarding this property. We are continuing to take corrective actions under the City’s Bylaws and the Ontario Building Code to address violations at this property.”

The city’s corrective measures did not meet the expectations of local residents.

“At the very least, I want all the trash cleaned up from the front of the house and the backyard so it’s not a fire hazard, it’s not attractive to pests, it’s not attractive to passersby looking for shelter,” Hoover said.

An online search reveals that there are two building permits, which could complicate enforcement.

Both permits were applied for on April 20, 2018 and are still listed as “Under Inspection,” more than six years later.

The first permit concerns the repair of the garage at the rear.

The second task is to replace the floor joists, strengthen the wall structure, replace the pipes and apply interior finishes.

“I would say he comes in several times a week and he spends a good hour there. Sometimes he spends a whole day there. I don’t know what he does when he’s here,” Hoover noted.

According to Hoover, the owner does not live in the building, but appears to be slowly renovating the house into apartments.

The municipality initially granted a rental permit for two homes (3 bedrooms, 4 bedrooms), but withdrew it earlier this year.

The owner of the home at 366 Central Ave. has not yet responded to a request for an interview.