Port Alberni City Council will force the owner of the Arrowview Hotel to either build or tear it down, after Ray Letourneau—the latest owner—missed a deadline. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Port Alberni pushes to demolish derelict hotel

Arrowview Hotel ‘not a safe building,’ says mayor

Time’s up for the owner of the derelict Arrowview Hotel on Second Avenue in Port Alberni.

Ray Letourneau of Vancouver, who bought the old hotel last October, has missed a deadline to either start renovating or demolish the building, city director of development services Scott Smith said Tuesday. City council gave Smith the go-ahead to force the issue legally with Letourneau. That will happen under a Community Charter process.

The hotel has sat virtually empty for a number of years; it was gutted by fire in 2015. Demolition work began on the building in March 2017 with a different owner, but stalled until the hotel was sold again, this time toLetourneau. Nothing has been done on the building and Letourneau has missed his deadlines, Smith said.

“We have begun a process where we’re going to force the owner to either repair or tear down that building,” Mayor Mike Ruttan explained after the council meeting. “If the owner isn’t able to repair it, doesn’t have the funds to repair it, doesn’t have the funds to tear it down, then we’ll do that as a city.”

He said he is happy to see the city taking this action. “This is a major concern of council, it’s a major concern of mine,” he said. “That is not a safe building; it shouldn’t still be there. It needs to be torn down.

“Frankly, I don’t believe that building can be remediated. I believe the only thing that can happen with that building is for it to be torn down.”

READ MORE:

Derelict Arrowview Hotel burns in Port Alberni

Arrowview Hotel land exchange halted

• Vancouver engineer plans to rebuild derelict hotel

A brief history of the Arrowview Hotel

This is the second time council has been forced into this position with the Arrowview: in May 2017, after two verbal agreements by a previous owner that demolition on the building would continue, council began the Community Charter process to force the owner to do something with the building.

That owner had done some environmental abatement and demolition in March 2017, but work ceased shortly after it began. Instead of starting the work again, he sold the building. Letourneau told council in October 2017 that he planned on using the Arrowview for a “small community economic strategy” he has developed.

“I see myself as using this property as the core of the model,” Letourneau said at the time.

The cost to tear down the building in that case would be added to Letourneau’s property tax, and if the owner can’t afford to pay for the tax then the property becomes the city’s. Ruttan acknowledged that it will be expensive to demolish the building “but on the other hand it’s the responsibility of the building owner to make sure it’s safe.”

The city was put into a similar situation a few years ago with the Tidebrook Hotel that stood empty on Gertrude Street across from Roger Creek Water Park until it burned down. The owner did not remove the wreckage so the city paid to have it demolished and ended up with the property in a tax sale.

The Arrowview is not part of the city’s nuisance building bylaw, which staff have employed to deal with other buildings in South Port.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

With files from elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

City of Port Alberni sticks to three percent

City council has proposed an annual increase of three percent for residential taxpayers

BC BUDGET: Fare freeze and free travel for seniors on BC Ferries

A complete fare freeze will be put into place on major routes, and fares will be rolled back on smaller routes by 15 per cent

Port Alberni’s drug death rate ‘highest on Island’ says medical health officer

British Columbia entered a state of emergency in 2017 over the opioid crisis

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Widow of avalanche victim sues Golden lodge operator

A woman from Alberta is suing guides, their mountain guide association and the lodge operator for negligence

Vancouver Island job market ever-evolving

Various sectors driving employment in region will be represented at Black Press career fair in Comox Feb. 8

BC BUDGET: NDP hope to nix court delays with $15 million cash influx

Union says funding could stop sheriffs from leaving for higher paid jobs

BC Cattlemen’s Association calls for remediation of firebreaks to prevent erosion, spread of invasive species

Other concerns are fencing restoration and repair, and a lack of feed for cattle.

Patrick Brown’s Tory leadership bid fate looms

Brown’s bid to for Tory leadership to be decided on Wednesday

Duncan cousins found guilty of aggravated sexual assault

Assault so violent, victim required surgery

Alberta shrugs off B.C. legal challenge on wine ban

The potential fine Alberta faces for violating free trade rules according to economic development minister

Most Read