A vacant parcel of privately owned land on Warden Street is currently home to what some are calling a “tarp city.”
A tarp has been erected on the property, enclosing a large area. Bylaw Enforcement staff began receiving complaints about the structure and disturbances in the area on June 25.
According to a City Staff Report written July 11, there has so far been 11 complaints made to Bylaw Enforcement by neighbours in the area.
The Observer spoke to one man at the tarp city, who asked not to be named. He said he and his wife have been staying there for a few weeks.
Neighbours confirmed the structure had been there for two or three weeks, and say RCMP and Bylaw have been patrolling the area, but they are concerned about the number of people coming to and from the tarp structure. Warden Street is home to retirees and young families. The structure is located between two single-family homes, with an apartment complex behind it.
Disturbance claims made to Bylaw Enforcement staff include fires being lit outside and inside the tarp structure; noise; excessive pedestrian traffic trespassing through neighbouring properties; extension cords providing power being run from an apartment nearby; and human waste found on trails bordering the property.
The City Staff Report says Bylaw Enforcement staff notified the property owner, Byron Antonovich, that the structure is not permitted on residential zoned property, and that use was to cease immediately. The report says Antonovich said he would remove it but has so far taken no action. Antonovich told Bylaw staff the individuals would be leaving the property on July 20.
City Staff are recommending that Council consider the tarp structure a nuisance under the Community Charter. The City must provide 30 days for the owner to take action.
City Council will discuss the matter and come to a decision at the July 17 meeting.