City removes boat from front yard of property
The final step in the cleanup of a property in the 34000 block of Gladys Avenue was undertaken by the City of Abbotsford on Thursday morning.
The city sent a crew to remove a large boat that had been located in the front yard of the property since the late 1990s.
Gordon Ferguson, manager of bylaw enforcement, said the city enforced a court order for the removal of the vessel.
He said the property has been the subject of numerous complaints over the years.
The city began legal action against the owner in 2011 for cleanup of the site, but it has taken this long for the court order to be issued, he said.
Owner George Penner will be billed for the cost, but Ferguson was not yet sure how much that would be.
Penner had most of the property cleaned up about two weeks ago, following an order from the city. A nine-man crew from Steve's Towing volunteered their time to remove a mountain of debris that had built up on the site.
Penner said tenants who had lived on the property for two years were to blame for the mess. They had even allowed squatters to put up tents on the property and to use the boat – and vehicles on the site – as shelter.
One of the tenants was arrested for gun possession in July 2011.
The tenants were forced to leave last week, after they were previously handed a 10-day eviction notice.
The saltwater fishing boat had been purchased by Penner and another man in the late 1990s, with the intention of fixing it up and selling it.
Penner said he had been in the process of making arrangements to have the boat moved, but he received a call on Thursday morning that the city was on the property.
By the time he arrived, the boat had been demolished and was being moved into a container.
The site is now being handled by a property management company, which plans to renovate the home and rent it out to new tenants, who will be properly screened.