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Empty lots an eyesore for neighbours

Two lots in Erin Ridge Drive now clean but still undeveloped, says resident

By: Viola Pruss

  |  Posted: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 06:00 am

VACANT LOTS – This empty lot and another located nearby are a source of exasperation for area residents who feel they are an eyesore.
VACANT LOTS – This empty lot and another located nearby are a source of exasperation for area residents who feel they are an eyesore.
VIOLA PRUSS/St. Albert Gazette

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Two empty lots in Erin Ridge continue to be a nuisance to their neighbours, despite many attempts to get the owner to build on them.

Located at 77 and 81 Erin Ridge Dr., the two lots have remained undeveloped for years. The owner had previously used them as storage sites for construction material, dirt and equipment. The dirt and material have since been taken away due to pressure from the city, but the lots remain an eyesore to the neighbourhood, said resident Dustin Bizon.

“When it rains and (the owner) decides to bring some equipment through one of the empty lots, then he drags the mud out into the cul-de-sac,” he said.

“And the neighbourhood is not finished even though we’ve been in (our) house since 2007 and the last one that was finished was in 2008.”

A story on the empty lots was first published in the Gazette in August 2013.

At the time, property owner Manuel Martin said he had semi-retired and bought the remaining lots that his company, Martin Homes, had owned in St. Albert.

He added that the two lots on Erin Ridge Drive were committed to be sold to another builder, a company in which he was a shareholder.

Manuel Martin could not be contacted for an update and the city has not received any development permits for the lots.

One of the lots has a partial “For Sale” sign posted. On the other lot, earth seems to have been moved recently, with one trailer and a small excavator parked there.

Mayor Nolan Crouse said he didn’t meet with Martin over the winter but tried previously to get the owner to sell the lots.

“I did go for a drive about a month ago and it looks like there are nine lots that he still has,” Crouse said. “He cleaned up his lots but I don’t know if he’s building this summer yet.”

There is no requirement for people to develop within a specific time frame, said David Hales, general manager of planning and engineering. But the owners are expected to do basic maintenance to the property, such as controlling the vegetation, he said.

“Storage of items not related to the development of that property is also not allowed,” he said.

Bizon said he speaks to the mayor about the issue once a year. At one time, the residents had offered to buy one of the lots between all of the neighbours but the price was too high. Now Bizon would just like to see them developed.

“Me and all my neighbours would,” he said.


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