Sunday April 20, 2014





Owner of problem house a no-show for extension request

She has until Jan. 11 to comply with City’s enforcement

356 McGowan Ave.

A woman whose McGowan Avenue home must be cleaned of animal and bird feces and other detritus before it can be repaired from a fire did not show up to ask for an extended deadline Tuesday.

Lynda Watt was slated as a 3:30 p.m. delegation to appeal to City council for more time on the 45 days she was last given to get the house cleaned up so that construction workers could enter the home.

City staff checked for any emails or fax communications from Watt up until the meeting ended at 5 p.m., but there were no messages from her.

That means she has to have the house cleaned out and ready for repair efforts by Jan. 11 to comply with the City’s enforcement. If not, the City could do the work on her behalf and add the cost to her tax bill.

Watt’s house woes began with a fire in 2008 that didn’t damage the structure, but required repairs to make it habitable.

Instead, the house has sat vacant, which has led to broken windows and pigeons and feral cats moving in with piles of garbage in the house.

Watt is a self-admitted hoarder with some mental-health issues.

Neighbours have complained to the City about the animals, strangers living in the empty house at times and strong odours in the summer. They took a petition to the City in 2012 calling for something to be done.

Watt has taken some steps toward repairs, but air tests have shown cleaners will need to wear masks.

A 200-page report by City property use inspector Dave Jones earlier this fall said Watt has given the City multiple written and verbal commitments to show good intentions. She has also done some minor repairs and remediation, but has fallen short of agreed-upon expectations.

At this point, Watt’s neighbours are tired of the eyesore.


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