Fernwood residents Chris Grieve (from left)

Fernwood residents Chris Grieve (from left)

Derelict house troublesome for Fernwood residents

The front yard of the home at 2018 Stanley Ave. is full of roofing material, bags of insulation from the attic and scaffolding.

A roofless house in Fernwood that is fenced off and littered with construction equipment is quickly becoming an eyesore and generating concern from neighbours that it’s attracting the wrong type of attention.

The front yard of the home at 2018 Stanley Ave. is full of roofing material, bags of insulation from the attic and scaffolding.

Originally built in 1912, the arts and craft California bungalow-style home (designed by the same architect who designed the original McPherson Theatre) has all the original features such as the copper beam ceilings, french doors and push button light switches still intact, though it is not a heritage-designated building.

The former owner lived in the character house for several decades before he passed away. His family eventually sold the property earlier this year.

Since the spring, the new owners have ripped off most of the roof, which has no tarp, subjecting the home to rain. Work hasn’t been done on the home since the summer.

Most recently, graffiti artists found their way onto the property, tagging the front of the home.

Neighbours are concerned about the ongoing neglect of the character home.

“There’s concern that this house is quickly becoming a derelict building,” said Chris Grieve, who has lived next door for the past eight years and started the Facebook group Save 2018 Stanley Ave.

“I’ve seen more people use it as a drop place for refuge. My concern is the house is starting to attract the kind of attention that one doesn’t want in a neighbourhood. Graffiti is a start. Then you have to start worrying about more serious vandalism, theft and other problems that tend to expand away from the problem house.”

More than 50 residents have joined the Facebook group.

Neighbour Georgina Hope said she’s disappointed the neighbourhood is losing a piece of history.

“In Victoria we have this history, quite a few old buildings that have sat boarded up and derelict and it’s not good for our neighbourhood. This is such a waste,” she said, adding that she chose to raise her two children in Fernwood. “It’s a beautiful old house, it’s got stories and character — it’s just heartbreaking.”

The group hopes to stop the owners from demolishing it and want it relocated to another site. At the very least, they’re hoping the owner will cover up the open roof to prevent anymore damage.

“The owner has the right to do what he wants with his property. But I also felt that the house brings a lot to the neighbourhood and has the potential to be a shining star,” Grieve said, adding some people have even offered to buy the home in order to save it.

Grieve hopes the city will consider implementing penalties for homeowners who don’t meet a basic level of structural integrity and building security to prevent similar incidents from happening in other neighbourhoods.

Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe, liaison for the Fernwood Community Association, said because the home doesn’t have a heritage designation, it makes it difficult for the city to take action.

“The city and the neighbours would prefer any alternative be considered than demolition,” she said, adding they are looking into other steps bylaw officers could take in terms of removing the graffiti. “I’m frustrated and I know the neighbours are frustrated and definitely share their concerns. Right now, we have to see what steps we can take.”

City staff are currently trying to get back in touch with the owner to see what his intentions are with the house.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Johnathan Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight charges including sex-related offences against children and accessing, possessing and making or publishing child pornography. (Courtesy of Saanich Police)
Sentencing date moved for Saanich nanny guilty of child porn charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight sex offences against children

(Google Maps)
Sophisticated glass-removal crime returns to downtown Victoria

Several businesses on Fort Street targeted overnight, say police

Patrick MacMullan won $28,000 playing Toto. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Greater Victoria man wins $28,000 while watching football

Winning ticket purchased at Colwood convenience store

Victoria police are seeking public assistance in identifying a suspect and witness of a Dec. 4 sexual assault in Esquimalt. (Black Press Media file photo)
Police seeking suspect, witness of sexual assault of Esquimalt teen

Teen sexually assaulted Dec. 4 after departing number 15 bus

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

A northern resident killer whale shows injuries sustained by a collision with a vessel in B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Coast Guard ramps up protections for B.C. whales

First-ever Marine Mammal Desk will enhance cetacean reporting and enforcement

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Most Read