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

Alberni university zeroes in on disability and poverty

BY MIKE YOUDS SPECIAL TO THE NEWS The road to poverty can… Continue reading

Celebrate cycling in Port Alberni during Bike to Work and School Week

Numerous ‘celebration stations’ are planned for May 28 to June 2

Ahousaht welcomes massive Surfrider Canada conference to Meares Island near Tofino

“It was the first time we’ve all come together.”

Alberni RCMP kept busy with 170 calls over May long weekend

Detachment answers calls from fatal vehicle crash to man with a gun, trailer thefts

Alberni pub owner kicks off new event for car lovers

Car enthusiast Helen Poon debuts Cars and Coffee on May 27

Vancouver Island girl scores with winning song for BC Summer Games

‘Colours’ is a perfect theme for 2018 BC Summer Games

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Update: Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps from 60 to 800 hectares

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Fuel truck crash closes B.C. highway, sends two to hospital

The Trans-Canada Highway on Vancouver Island is expected to be closed until Thursday evening

Media are not an arm of the police, Vice lawyer tells Supreme Court hearing

Ben Makuch challenges Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that he must give materials for stories to RCMP

Most Read