The City of Brandon has given the owner of a languishing downtown property a "drop dead date" to provide a full set of architectural and structural drawings.
If those plans are received and approved, the city can then issue a building permit, according to Greg Merke, the city’s building safety manager. But if the property owner does not meet the deadline, the city will issue orders through the property standards bylaw and the vacant/derelict building bylaw.
"That date is coming up rapidly, and I do know that he’s real close on getting his permit," Merke said.
The small building at the corner of Rosser Avenue and Seventh Street was formerly a restaurant named Chicken Corner. Two years ago, it was sold to Huangpu Assiniboine Holdings Ltd., and major renovations began, including the removal of the entire second storey.
Not much progress has happened since, and it is currently boarded up with plywood. Neighbouring business owners, residents and city councillors have expressed concern about the lack of movement on this property that has become an eyesore.
"We realize how important the downtown is and we try to work with people the best we can when it comes to downtown," Merke said. "We probably extend a little more latitude, in some cases, than we should, but we’re also aware of how complicated it could be."
The owner declined to be interviewed by the Brandon Sun. However, Merke said after the initial interior demolition permit was issued for the aging building, they ran into structural concerns.
"It was a slow process," Merke said. "Those older buildings are complicated to deal with, they’ve got lots of hidden issues that sometimes you don’t discover until you do open up the building."
The city ultimately told the owner that he couldn’t proceed any further until he had submitted a full set of drawings.
While Merke wouldn’t reveal the exact date of the deadline, he said it’s "coming up soon."
According to the city’s Building Safety and Property Standards bylaw, every exterior wall "shall be free of holes, breaks, loose or rotting boards or timbers, and any other conditions which might admit rodents, rain or dampness to the interior."
While the windows are boarded up, there appear to be holes across the top of the entire east exterior wall.
"There’s no way (the building) can … meet the property standards bylaw," Merke said.
Merke said he, too, is concerned about the time this project has taken thus far, which is why the city implemented the deadline.
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