SUMMERSIDE –A vacant, deteriorating residence on Sheen Street that has become a drug house and a home for raccoons and rats is facing demolition.
© MIke Carson/Journal Pioneer
A derelict building on Sheen Street has raised concerns among neighbouring property owners. City council will deal with a demolition order when it meets on Dec. 16.
Councillor Peter Holman said he has been receiving complaints about the property at 506 Sheen Street since August.
“I received a phone call from a neighbour around Aug. 23, and I went down to see this individual,” Holman said. “He complained that there were rats coming out of this house. They had gone to his home and had chewed right through the screen windows in his basement.”
Holman inspected the neighbour’s property and found that the window screens had been eaten through by rats.
“I received a phone call last week from one of the neighbours and there were four raccoons at this house,” he said. “That was just this past week. So, it’s being inhabited by the critters.”
Holman said when he inspected the property in the summer, he found evidence of something much more worrisome than rats and raccoons.
“When I was there in August, I went around to look at this place before I came here to report the condition of the place, the back window to the building was open,” he said. “It was being used by kids to go in and smoke drugs. In this particular case it was kids, teenagers.”
Holman said there are major concerns that the floors in the house are not safe.
“Two years ago, the entire basement had filled with water,” he said. “I’m assuming that the basement is absolutely full of mold as well. The neighbours are extremely upset that this property is in the condition it has been for a number of years. This isn’t something that has just cropped up. It’s been an ongoing issue.”
Holman said the property has been vacant for more than five years.The most recent owner is now dead.
“It’s still registered in the name of the deceased,” he said. “The property has never been transferred from the name of the deceased. It’s in such a state that it needs to come down.”
Holman said the city is in the same position it was earlier this year when it decided to demolish an unsightly property on Eustane Street.
“The only benefit with this property versus the Eustane Street property is there is no asbestos in this one,” he said.
He said the absence of asbestos will make the demolition of the Sheen Street property less costly.
The city has been dealing with the issue since August, attempting to locate the owner or the owner’s next of kin without success. City staff has also inspected the property and has ensured that it is secured.
City council will deal with the issue at its Dec. 16 meeting at 6:30 p.m.