Let’s not pretend these derelict buildings are art
They should already be gone, of course. The vacant, boarded up houses at 51 and 53 David Street, owned by a development company, are a disgrace. They attract drug a Nike Sneakers ctivity, garbage and vagrants.
The owner, Revel Development Corp., was asked to fix them up or tear them down back in January.
But it will be late June by the time the buildings are demolished, thanks to a series of delays that comprise of: one third foot dragging developer, one third red tape at city hall, and one third local artists who want to use the buildings to make a statement.
Meanwhile, the people who have to live beside the mess are not impressed.
“My neighbours and I have not enjoyed one night of sleep,” Lorraine Grenier wrote this paper a couple of weeks ago.
“Street people sleeping in the park, yelling all night long and running in (and) out of 51 David Street, garbage thrown everywhere.”
Calling the police only stops the problem temporarily, she said.
Now that the city has built spiffy new washrooms in the park just across the street, Grenier thinks it will be even more difficult to discourage the squatters.
She included photos of the boarded up properties, of sleeping bags on nearby grass and clothes hanging as if to dry on the fence near the park washrooms.
The process is frustratingly slow and ponderous. Everyone involved agrees that the buildings are beyond repair and must come down. Revel was given a deadline of the end of March by the city’s property standards enforcement branch.
However, the company didn’t meet the deadline. Eight weeks late, they launched an appeal Nike Sneakers of the order, w Nike Sneakers hich was denied.
The city can now go ahead with demo Nike Sneakers lition, which would leave a grassy space where the old houses stand, and bill the owner for the work.
But wait the Victoria Park neighbour is a heritage conservation area, so the city’s heritage committee also has to consider the request, and it doesn’t meet until June. Then, of course, city council has to approve the decision.
“I certainly appreciate the public’s frustration,” said the city’s director of bylaw enforcement, Shayne Turner.
Meanwhile, to add insult to injury, the folks at CAFKA (Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area) want to turn these junky old houses into “art” by painting one jet black and the other one bright white. This would be part of the group’s art festival that’s happening in June.
Revel Development president Stephen Litt said “it’s going to be very, very unique.”
I myself have never seen such a unique mixture of chutzpah and horse manure disguised as a plan.
Come on. There is nothing artistic about painting one wretched old house black and the other, white. This is not a chess game. It’s just a silly stunt which, as Coun. Frank Etherington has said, is “one more move in a stupid game to delay the demolition.”