EDITORIAL: Property dilemma

For those who live, and more especially used to live, in Johnsons Landing, the stress, emotional impact and financial burden caused by the 2012 landslide has not gone away.

In fact, property owners are frequently reminded how badly devastated one portion of the community was.

This month, annual property notices were issued by the BC Assessment Authority and once-valuable homes and lands are now worth a fraction of their former value.

Several homes have been deemed unlivable, either because of massive damage or because of the threat of another slide.

In total, 17 properties are within one or more hazard zones. The remainder of the properties, outside of the zone, have also been impacted as their values have plummeted by association.

So what is a property owner to do?

They can’t live in a damaged home, they can’t fix the damage because of the threat of another slide and they can’t sell the property — well, they can if they can find a buyer, but that is more than unlikely.

The fact is they are in limbo, waiting for a solution that may not come.

The Nelson Star is taking a closer look at the Johnsons Landing dilemma.  You will find the first installment in a three-part series on the front page of this edition.

We will examine how the property values were assessed, the reaction of some property owners and how a local realtor feels about the possibility of selling.

However, there is little hope of a sudden increase in value, or upswing in interest in the properties.

With an evacuation order still in place, little will change for those impacted by the slide.

Some believe the time has come for the provincial government to get more involved, even to buy out the affected properties. But to date officials have insisted there is no mechanism to do this.

So the properties remain untouched, unused and unwanted.

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