Find if a demolition order has been issued for a specific property.
Demolition orders like this will also be mailed to individuals shown on the tax roll as the owners of destroyed properties.
Order by the Minister of Municipal Affairs authorizing notice of demolition orders via the RMWB website.
Section 546 of the Municipal Government Act allows a municipality to issue an Order to remedy dangers and unsightly property.
Properties damaged by the wildfire are both dangerous and unsightly, therefore the Municipality has issued orders under Section 546 for all properties that were destroyed or were so severely damaged that they require demolition, including removal of building foundations. These Orders are formally known as Orders to Remedy Dangers and Unsightly Property, but are more commonly called “Demolition Orders” which is how they are described in what follows.
The Municipality’s Demolition Orders are intended to accomplish these things, which are further discussed below:
- Establish timelines for getting the work done — Sept. 30, 2016 for site cleanup (which may include removal of foundations) and Oct. 31 for either backfilling the hole or installing alternative means of keeping the site secure over the winter if foundations are not removed in 2016.
- Allow the Municipality to do the work if necessary and recover the cost by adding it to the tax roll.
The Municipality realizes that Sept. 30 for site cleanup, and Oct. 31 for either backfilling or installing acceptable alternative security measures for the winter, were ambitious targets. The sheer number of properties to be cleaned up and the logistical difficulties, where many such properties are clustered into small maneuvring areas, will make it challenging to achieve the timelines.
The Municipality also realizes that for some who lost their homes, there may be advantages to delaying removal of foundations until this can be coordinated with an approved rebuilding project.
Nevertheless it is important for the economic and emotional well-being of the community to move as promptly as possible to ensure that the affected properties are less unsightly, pose less of a health and safety risk, and are ready for rebuilding to occur.
The Sept. 30 / Oct. 31 timeframes can be adjusted later if it appears they cannot realistically be achieved, or in response to unique individual circumstances.
NOTE: The Demolition Order also provides that those who choose NOT to remove foundations this fall, will be required to do so by June 30, 2017. The intention is to allow enough time for homeowners who wish to rebuild rather than take an insurance payout, to co-ordinate demolition and construction activity next year. Through an efficient co-ordination of work, it may be possible to avoid the cost of backfilling if removal of the old foundation is followed soon thereafter by the pouring of a new one.
Municipality's Ability to do the Work if Necessary
The obligation under the demolition order to do the cleanup and foundation removal should not become a financial issue for the vast majority of properties that are covered by insurance. Almost all homeowners’ insurance policies make the insurer responsible to demolish and clean up the property, at the insurer’s cost, subject to an upper limit of coverage in some cases.
Since insurance policies are not registered on the land title to a property (as, for example, a mortgage loan is registered) the Municipality cannot know for certain which properties are insured and which are not. Therefore out of abundance of caution the Municipality is issuing Demolition Orders for all affected properties, recognizing that for most insured properties the work ordered to be done will be done anyway.
In the case of uninsured properties the Municipality can and will look to the property owner to get the clean up completed. If necessary, the Municipality will do that work and charge the cost to the property tax roll.
Service of Demolition Orders
Under normal circumstances, where only an isolated property or a small number of properties are to be demolished, Demolition Orders would be personally served on the person(s) shown on the titles or on the tax roll as the property owners.
In this case, there are more than 2,000 affected properties. At the time the orders were issued, many home owners had not yet returned and would be difficult to track down for personal service.
The Ministerial Order also provides for advertising in the newspaper and mailing a copy of the demolition order to the person shown on the tax roll as the property owner. The Municipality will be following up on these requirements in due course, and will also be registering demolition orders against the land titles of the properties in question.
Frequently Asked Questions
View frequently asked questions for demolition orders here.
For questions, or to advise us if you believe your property has been erroneously included in the list of properties to which demolition orders apply, call the PULSE Line.
This is also the number to call if you believe you will be unable to comply with the timelines set out in your demolition order.