A group of Victoria residents want the city and the owner of an “appalling derelict” property to take action as it’s a “magnet” for vandals and squatters that disrupt the neighbourhood.
Residents near a property on Richmond Road near Royal Jubilee Hospital say the building has been left to rot for nearly 20 years – with problems mounting for the neighbourhood in relation to it.
“The property and building are having a tremendous negative impact on the surrounding neighbourhood,” said area resident Mark Parsons. “The building on the property has been empty and unmaintained for approximately 20 years, and has become a magnet for vandals who tag it and surrounding properties … The defacements invariably attract additional defacements, within a night or two at most. Having made the trek to the site, the individuals then deface other public and private property in the surrounding blocks.”
“There are also issues with individuals squatting overnight on and around the property, particularly on weekends when they know they’re less likely to be rousted,” said Parsons.
Residents have contacted the property owners multiple times and filed numerous complaints with the City of Victoria to address the situation.
Black Press Media contacted the City of Victoria for comment, but did not receive a reply by publication.
Parsons said that the city is “very responsive” when it comes to removing graffiti on nearby public infrastructure such as traffic signs and bus shelters, but the graffiti remains on the actual property.
“With regard to the City of Victoria, we don’t have any complaints about the responsiveness of city representatives, and fully recognize their limited ability to deal effectively with the vagrants involved,” Parsons said.
Parsons said the big hope is that the property is developed, either by the current owners or perhaps a new buyer.