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

Juno-nominated Indigenous hip-hop duo to play in Port Alberni

Snotty Nose Rez Kids will be at the Kingsway Pub on Saturday, Feb. 23

Coldest Night of the Year event brings attention to plight of the homeless

Port Alberni teams prepare to walk one of three routes and raise funds too

Alberni Armada girls a surprise contender at Vancouver Island high school basketball championships

The Alberni Armada senior girls’ basketball team is going somewhere they never… Continue reading

Alberni Curling Club hosts 66th annual men’s bonspiel

Curlers will compete in four events Feb. 15–17

Arrowsmith Rotary seeking artist proposals for mural near Harbour Quay

Mural project will be based on the theme of reconciliation

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

No Center of Gravity festival in Kelowna this summer: organizers

COG organizers said the hope is to return to the Okanagan in 2020

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Most Read