Removal of an illegal structure on Alfred Avenue has been completed voluntarily by the residents, without the need for remedial action by the Town of Smithers.
The structure, deemed a hazard to the residents by the Smithers building inspector, was a non compliant, three-sided frame building attached to a combustible motor home. Of concern was the wood burning stove installed inside the shed.
“Town staff are concerned that this structure creates an unsafe condition for a variety of reasons, but immediate threats include the structure either burning down or collapsing under snow load,” a report to Smithers town council read.
In October 2020, at the request of Smithers RCMP due to numerous complaints, the town’s building inspector and town bylaw enforcement officer attended the site, to inform the owner the structure was not in compliance with town bylaws, was unsafe and needed to be removed.
In a report to council dated Jan. 8, after a series of contacts with the owner, over several months, town staff recommended to council “demolition is considered the best option.”
Council voted for removal, but councillor Thomas and Mayor Atrill voiced concerns about the time of year, the weather being the coldest of the season, and wondering if community agencies were involved to help the residents find alternate arrangements for shelter and heat.
Smithers bylaw enforcement officer Matt Davey, was able to engage community resources to help the owner, and on Feb. 16, the residents began removing the structure.
“This was undertaken by the residents without the need for the town to take any remedial action, which was the best possible solution for all involved” said Davey.