- Under the current system and like most municipalities, enforcement action at the City is primarily a complaint driven process. Complaints are often received from members of the public who report concerns about a property for potentially not meeting minimum maintenance or property standards, by-law or building code infractions and/or safety or fire concerns.
- When a complaint is received, a file is opened and an enforcement officer investigates the issue to determine if there is a violation, such as the building being insecure. The officer will typically connect with the owner, and the owner would address the issue; such as installing additional plywood to secure the building.
- If the owner is unwilling or unable to resolve the matter, the officer may issue a compliance order. An order will stipulate what the violation(s) are, the remedial action required and a compliance date.
- If the matter is rectified within the required time, the file is closed. If it is not, charges may be laid for failing to comply with an order through the courts. In some instances, the work may be undertaken by the City to terminate the violation and costs of the work are charged back to the owner.
- Once compliance is achieved the matter is considered resolved and closed. Should the violation occur again on the same property it is considered a new complaint and is investigated on its own merit.
When will demolition wrap up?
The intersection has been re-opened and clean up has started (Jan 5) which will take at least 4 weeks. There may be intermittent one- lane closures during this period.
What will happen to the sulfur springs underneath?
Public Works/ Environmental Services will work with the owner to inspect the spring and divert it to a nearby stormwater basin. This spring water is currently impacting our wastewater treatment volumes and therefore costs. Once redirected to our storm water system, the City will have the ability to perform flow monitoring to more accurately quantify any future expected savings.
How was the public informed?
After the emergency order was issued by the Chief Building Official, there was a media release (before noon on the 24th) which was also posted on the City’s website. Under the Building Code Act, the Chief Building Official can act independently of Council and the City in the interest of public safety. An emergency order supersedes heritage designations.
The CBO has since made several public statements and has made himself available to media on site and via phone interviews. He has been the primary spokesperson as this was his decision, the work is being done under his authority, and because he has the technical and professional expertise to discuss the process. The CBO first declared this property unsafe in January 2020, supported by independent engineering reports, and has provided a variety of reports over the last year to Council.
Who is paying for the cost of the demo?
Under the Building Code Act, the City is able to recover the costs of demolition from the owner.
Has there been a formal proposal submitted to the City to develop the site?
No, there has not.
What independent authority does the Chief Building Official have?
Under section 15.10 of the Building Code Act, the Chief Building Official is authorized to issue an Emergency Order in the interest of public safety. The Chief Building Official is entitled to take such measures and to act independently from the City of Cambridge and Council. The Emergency Order supersedes municipal processes already in place.
How do complaints about issues on properties currently get actioned and resolved?
Note: The City of Cambridge is undertaking a review of our current Property Standards by-law to determine if there are additional measures that could be included to further protect vacant buildings that are on the City’s Heritage Register.