Harbourview Apartments on Third Avenue was added to the city’s nuisance bylaw list Monday. Photo courtesy Mike Youds

Harbourview slapped with nuisance status

Apartment building triggers too many police, fire callouts, council says

Mike Youds,

Special to the News

An 11th hour repair blitz to bring Harbourview Apartments into compliance failed to sway a city decision to declare the aging building a nuisance property.

Council voted unanimously to impose the nuisance status despite a last-minute appeal by the building’s co-owners, Martin Chambers and Randy Brown.

“The work has been done under difficult circumstances and it’s been done rapidly,” Chambers told council at its regular meeting Monday night.

Chambers said a construction crew was diverted from the Athol Apartment project to the Harbourview, 3118 3rd Ave., to address 15 building code violations identified by the city. Improvements include new fire doors and a new balcony as well as interior improvements, he said.

“Every single thing that was complained about has been done,” Chambers said. “Admittedly it was in an appalling state.”

Related: Carlson Building declared a nuisance property

Related: City of Port Alberni form nuisance property working group

Related: two more Uptown buildings declared nuisance properties

Mayor Mike Ruttan said that the number of fire and police calls triggered by the building’s tenants remains unacceptably high. Police had to respond to 81 calls involving the Harbourview last year while the fire department was called to the property 20 times.

Chambers promised that those calls would drop to zero.

“We’re going to be a lot more heavy-handed,” Brown offered, adding that he has been charged with assault as a result of an altercation with a tenant. He said it’s impossible to determine which tenants are responsible for the police and fire calls since the RCMP won’t provide reports, citing privacy concerns.

“The only option is to kick everybody out … and you’d put 30 people on the street,” Brown added.

Councillor Chris Alemany said the nuisance bylaw is about the state of the building and compliance as well as the city’s reputation:

“It has nothing to do with tenants,” he said.

Due to the number of callouts, however, councillor Ron Paulson said he was prepared to move ahead with the nuisance designation.

He noted that the calls resulted in 180 “man days” of police time when follow-up was included.

“Based on past history we’ve been left with no alternative,” Paulson said.

Councillor Sharie Minions said she was surprised and impressed by the owners’ compliance effort but added that council needs to keep the pressure on.

The owners said they were disappointed by council’s decision.

“The whole thing is a rush to judgment,” Brown said.

Just Posted

Wedding plans derailed following City of Port Alberni’s train announcement

Five wedding parties are scrambling to find alternate transportation arrangements to McLean… Continue reading

Kids help Alberni Aquarium build rockfish luminary for next exhibit

Swimming For Change takes over in time for spring break

Spring fishery closures mulled for south coast

Fewer fish are returning to rivers and more conservation needed, say feds

One dead, two seriously injured in Hwy 4 crash west of Port Alberni

A man has died following a single-vehicle collision west of Port Alberni… Continue reading

Risk of ‘deadly avalanches’ leads to warning for B.C.’s south coast

Weak layer of snow on Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland could trigger an avalanche

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Most Read