© Geraldine Brophy
The owner of this house on 6 McWhirter’s Lane appeared in provincial court Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 to answer to one charge under Section 44 of the Occupancy and Maintenance Regulations for failure to comply with an order. This is the property that over 200 cats were removed from last May.
CORNER BROOK — The City of Corner Brook has started legal action to deal with what has become a problem property on the east side.
Chris Green appeared in provincial court on Tuesday to answer to one charge under Section 44 of the Occupancy and Maintenance Regulations for failure to comply with an order. The offence is punishable under Section 106 of the Urban and Rural Planning Act. The provincial regulations and act fall under the jurisdiction of the city.
The charge was sworn before the court on Feb. 8 and the information sheet on the charge refers to order number 2012-11.
A copy of that document, obtained from the city, identifies Green as the owner of the property subject to the order and the property as 6 McWhirter’s Lane.
That is the same property that has been the focus of much attention since over 200 cats were removed from it late last May. While neighbours had expressed concerns over the condition of the dwelling both before and after the cats’ removal, the city only got involved with dealing with the property after it was damaged by fire last August.
In October, the city issued a directive to Green to either repair of demolish the dwelling on the property by Nov. 4, 2012. A Nov. 5 inspection of the property revealed that directive had not been complied with.
On Nov. 8 the city issued the order, referred to in the charge, to Green to repair or demolish the property by Dec. 21.
The order further stated that if Green didn’t comply the city could carry out demolition of the dwelling and seek to recover the cost as a civil debt. It also stated failure to carry out the order is an offence under Section 44 of the Occupancy and Maintenance Regulations, which is punishable under Section 106 of the Urban and Rural Planning Act. Punishment upon conviction under Section 106 could see a fine of between $500 and $1,000 for a first offence and in default of payment to a period of imprisonment not exceeding three months, or to both a fine and imprisonment. In addition, the court may order removal of the dwelling and order the cost be recovered as a civil debt.
Apply for legal aid
When the matter was first called before Judge Wayne Gorman, Green was asked if he wanted the opportunity to speak with a lawyer before proceeding. Green indicated that he did and was given time to speak with Lynn Cole, legal-aid duty counsel.
Upon return to court, Cole informed Gorman she had provided Green with an application for legal aid and asked that the matter be set over to give Green an opportunity to complete the application process.
Gorman set the next appearance in the matter for April 16.
Both Green and Lorilee Sharpe, counsel for the city, declined to comment on the case. When contacted later, Paul Barnable, the city’s director of community services, said the city would not be making any statements on the case while it was before the court.