A demolition order has been approved for a partially built house in south-end Halifax, where construction was suspended after neighbours complained about the size of the building.
The owner of 1020 Bellevue Ave., Talika Jka, now has 30 days to comply or the work will be done by the Halifax Regional Municipality.
The case of the partially built house — known to some locals as the "monster house on Bellevue" — was heard by the city's appeals committee on Thursday morning.
"Not only is it unsightly, but most importantly it's a danger to the community," Coun. Linda Mosher said during the hearing.
The demolition order involves the structure as well as the foundation.
Colin Bryson, Jka's lawyer, outlined the legal background for the committee. Bryson said his client was issued a work permit in February 2012 under older development rules that had changed a few months earlier. That allegation is now the basis of a lawsuit.
"We're here today because of an error that started with the city," he said Thursday.
A stop work order was issued in August 2012 and there has been no work on the building since.
"This is a bit of a worst case scenario, but it is in the realm of business risk and the determination of who's at fault and the determination of what the compensation is for that fault is in the courts," said Coun. Waye Mason, who represents Peninsula South-Downtown.
Mason pointed out the rules were changed to constrain the size of the homes and the lot coverage to better reflect what's already in the area. He added those rules need to be respected.
When Coun. Gloria McCluskey asked how much money Jka was looking for, Bryson said construction costs alone were between $350,000 and $400,000.
Jka told the committee he doesn't have the resources to carry out the demolition because everything he has is tied up with the Bellevue property.
If the Halifax Regional Municipality does the work it can put a lien on the property, which means the property can't be sold until the demolition bill is paid.