New Bylaws to penalize those who own derelict buildings and vacant lots in Whitehorse Canada


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Oct 30, 2023
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A new permitting bylaw is being considered by Whitehorse, that will require building owners to first obtain a city permit if they intend to board up their buildings. A fee will also be added into the mix. And for those who don't make any fixes or changes, they would see the fee increase annually, which could potentially reach thousands of dollars. This is their way to discourage owners from boarding up their buildings for an extended period of time.

If the bylaw passes, owners who have vacant lots and derelict buildings could face ongoing penalties, especially if they don't intend to repair or make the buildings livable for others. The bylaw would include fines, on top of fees and even a higher tax rate for those who continue to let their properties go to waste. The state doesn't want to see these buildings go unused and wasted, especially since it's wasting valuable space in the area. Plus, with derelict buildings, there is also a risk to public safety.

As an incentive for those owners who decide to demolish or redevelop the area, they could receive a tipping fee grant, which would see the city covering 25% of a projects tipping fees, up to $100,000. This could be used towards demolitions of derelict properties and or redevelopment of unused buildings. Especially so if they are able to make way for more housing projects. Maybe this could help address the issues with the housing crisis in Whitehorse. There are even discussions about the possibly increasing the grant to cover 100% of demolition costs instead of the 25% previously mentioned.

This should be an interesting way to get property owners to move on making more affordable housing too.

You can read about this here: CBC
Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
The longer you let an abandoned house sit, the more fees and fines you'll have to pay, simple as that, and I think that's fair. This should help push these property owners to actually fix these properties up, and make them livable again. Or, if they can't repair the properties, to demolish them. And if this new bylaw allows for nearly free demolition, I can see many taking advantage of that.
That's a good idea and I hope it passes. Unfortunately, abandoned buildings quickly become drug dens and a squatters' paradise, which are liabilities for the community. I can just imagine one of them catching fire.
From my point of view, when the government implement penalties for owners who neglect their properties, it could be a way to incentivize maintenance and to bring about a revitalization effort which will definitely be a way to improve safety and property value as well.

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