Local property developer fined over boarded-up home

By Charlene Tebbutt
January 11, 2019 - 1:27pm Updated: January 11, 2019 - 2:00pm

A local property developer has been fined more than $11,000 for ignoring an order to fix up a run-down home he owns in the city.

Josh Morrow and his company, West Earth Developments, was fined $11,534 in Prince Albert Provincial Court earlier this week for non-compliance with a city bylaw order from 2016. At issue is a boarded-up home in the 800 Block of 12th St. W.

More than $17,000 in fines was originally requested in the matter, plus surcharges, but the judge in the case opted for the lower amount. Lawyer Nicole Sawchuck, who represented Bylaw Services on the issue, said Morrow was found guilty of not complying with the city’s Property Amenities Bylaw.

Sawchuk said the boarded-up home is abandoned, which can attract squatters or unsavory visitors.

“Essentially, it’s considered a nuisance to a neighbourhood,” Sawchuk said.

Morrow’s legal counsel said in court earlier this week that the home is structurally sound and Morrow is working to refurbish the property. Garth Bendig said there isn’t much value in local residential lots and Morrow has been frustrated that the city has cited him for numerous bylaw violations.

“Lots are basically being given away,” Bendig said. “So, there’s only value if there’s a building. It just needs an investment.”

Morrow has been cited by the city in the past over the state of some of his local properties. Bendig said his client is working to buy up entire blocks in order to redevelop them into quality housing and help families.

Morrow was given until March to pay the fines and must still repair the property.

 

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On Twitter: @CharleneTebbutt

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