A “Stop Work” order has been placed outside of the Kingsway Pub in Port Alberni. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

A “Stop Work” order has been placed outside of the Kingsway Pub in Port Alberni. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Kingsway Pub in Port Alberni slapped with stop work orders

Complaint contends renovation work was happening without permits

A stop-work order on the Kingsway Pub in Port Alberni has been lifted by the city, but WorkSafeBC is still waiting for a detailed risk assessment before work can take place.

The Kingsway Hotel and Pub was purchased back in 2018 by Helen Poon—now a councillor for the City of Port Alberni. Renovations started taking place, with the hotel portion of the building transformed into apartments.

READ MORE: Vancouver investor breathes new life into historic Port Alberni hotel and pub

However, in February of this year, the city’s bylaw services department received a complaint regarding unpermitted renovations at the Kingsway Pub and in April the city issued a stop-work order for the building.

Port Alberni resident Neil Anderson first brought the issue to the city’s attention after taking notice of some “building code irregularities” and confirmed with city hall that no permits or inspections had been taken out on the project. Anderson said he has been trying to get answers to his questions for two months.

“Due to the sensitivity of this matter I expressed my hope of resolving this in a low profiled manner,” Anderson wrote in a letter to city council. “Unfortunately, I was unable to do this.”

“The work stoppage should have happened two months ago,” he said in a later interview.

During a presentation to city council on Tuesday, April 14, city planner Katelyn McDougall admitted that there have been some “unanticipated delays” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the course of the last few months, she said, city staff have been working with Poon to identify what work is being done and what permits will be required.

(Poon recused herself during this portion of the online meeting. She did not participate in the discussion, and rejoined the meeting once McDougall’s presentation and ensuing discussion was finished.)

Although Poon had submitted a building permit application on April 3 for replacing/altering a plumbing system, renovation of suites and structural alterations, city staff were concerned about potential renovations ongoing while the application was being reviewed.

“The city had received a further complaint about renovations on site,” explained City CAO Tim Pley. “Staff were concerned that renovations were still ongoing.” A Do Not Occupy order was also issued by the city, but this only applied to the ground floor.

“It was never intended to affect anybody living upstairs,” said Pley. “We were concerned about the structural aspect of the renovations on the main floor.”

As of Thursday, April 23, the city’s orders have been lifted. Poon said on Monday, April 27 that she has retained Brad West of McGill Engineering to supervise the project and that she is committed to following the city’s processes.

“Not all renovations require permits,” she said. “Today I am aware of the process, and I am committed to full compliance.”

Pley confirmed that the city orders were lifted and a building permit has now been issued.

“[Poon] gave us satisfaction that public safety was going to be protected,” said Pley.

However, WorkSafeBC also issued a stop-work order on April 20 concerning hazardous materials in the building, and this order is still in place. According to WorkSafeBC documents, an inspection took place inside the building on March 25, after which Poon was told that a hazardous material survey was needed. On that date, Poon stated that all interior renovation type work had been completed.

Further construction activity was observed during another WorkSafeBC inspection on April 20. A hazardous materials survey was still not present.

“Current conditions may expose workers to hazardous materials including asbestos and lead,” said WorkSafeBC.

“The Board has reasonable grounds for believing that the work task(s) and/or condition(s) described above presents a high risk of serious injury, serious illness, or death to a worker.”

The order will not be lifted until a few conditions have been met, including a detailed risk assessment, according to the inspection report.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

municipal politicsPort Alberni

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tim Sutherland Sr. likes to go down to Harbour Quay and feel the breeze on his face. On stormy days when the wind whips the rain into his face, he thinks of his son Tim Sutherland Jr., and wonders whether he is warm and dry. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Finding shelter from the storm

Search for housing a journey of false hope for Alberni father and adult son

Volunteers decorate the Alberni Valley Hospice Society on Saturday, Nov. 28. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Alberni Valley Hospice Society lights up for holidays

New event is a fundraiser for society that runs Ty Watson House hospice and other programs

A sign at the entrance to Ty-Histanis asks visitors to stay out of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Nuu-chah-nulth nations on Vancouver Island hit hard by COVID-19

Seven nations dealing with positive tests, hospitalizations and death

Tseshaht Market is located on Highway 4 west of Port Alberni. (GOOGLE MAPS)
Tseshaht First Nation condemns actions of abusive customer

Customer objected to Tseshaht Market’s COVID-19 protection policy

A lightning strike destroyed a radio repeater on Porter Mountain, shutting down the Ministry of Transportation and infrastructure’s highway cam at Sutton Pass. (BC Transportation and Infrastructure photo)
Lightning strike shuts down camera on Tofino-Ucluelet highway

“One of our radio repeater sites was recently struck by lightning.”

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Dave Wallace coached the Parksville Royals for 23 years. (PQB News file photo)
B.C. baseball community mourns death of legendary Vancouver Island coach Dave Wallace

‘All who knew Dave and his passion for the game will miss him greatly’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Most Read