Set back from the street at the end of a long, wide driveway, 42 Emmett is said by neighbours to have been turned into an illegal duplex in the R2-zoned neighbourhood. VOICE FILE

The tenant occupying an illegal duplex in Fonthill has vacated the unit, according to neighbours and Town staff.

The single-family residence at 42 Emmett Street came under scrutiny last year as neighbours watched the home’s new owners apparently construct an apartment, without the necessary zoning variance or building permits to do so. Neighbours say that their complaints to the Town went unheeded.

In a bizarre turn last November, the tenant, whose parents owned the house but did not live there, entered the home directly across the street through a basement door. The homeowner, former Pelham Town Treasurer Cari Pupo, asserted that the man was acting in a threatening manner and called police, who cited the tenant for trespassing.

Following coverage of the incident in the Voice, and of the neighbours’ wider concerns about the property, the Town confronted the home’s owners and set a January deadline for them to bring the property into compliance with the street’s R2, single-family residence zoning.

“As it turns out, there was a second dwelling unit,” CAO David Cribbs said last week. “That unit has been vacated. All furniture has been removed, the appliances disconnected and stored in a different room. The Town has obtained compliance.”

Fire Chief and Bylaw Enforcement Officer Bob Lymburner inspected the dwelling on January 15.

“I can confirm there is no occupancy in the unit,” said Lymburner. “There are a few pieces of furniture but nothing that would support living there. We have closed the file.”

Across the street, Pupo wasn’t entirely mollified, and said she planned to meet with Town staff about the matter.

“The neighbours of 42 Emmett have been through a long year of trying to get conformance to the zoning bylaw,” she said. “The owner’s son has moved out of the second apartment of the duplex, but there is more to come.”

 

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