The owner of the burned out Tidebrook Hotel can either clean the property up or the city will, Port Alberni City Councillor Cindy Solda said.
Councillors passed a motion Jan. 14 that initiated a process to clean up the property under terms of the Community Charter.
Solda wants to “…start the proceedings to take down the building if he (owner Jack Purdy) doesn’t take it down by a certain time,” Solda said.
The former hotel was the scene of two fires last year, the last of which in November gutted the main building. Officials from the Port Alberni Fire Department considered the fire suspicious. The charred remains of the structure are behind a fence.
According to city planner Scott Smith, city staff tried contacting representatives of building owner Jack Purdy to ask if he intends to tear the building down or rebuild but there’s been no response.
Part Two, Section 12 of the Community Charter outlines measures available to the city to deal with remediation of properties that have been declared hazardous or nuisances.
The process to have the property cleaned up will take time, city manager Ken Watson said. A letter about the matter has to be sent to Purdy via registered mail and a show cause hearing has to be held outlining why the city is resorting to this, Watson said. Afterward, the city may or may not proceed to clean the property and tack the cost onto Purdy’s municipal tax bill.
Purdy has the right to appeal the decision, Watson added.
Calls to Purdy’s representatives weren’t returned.