City Centre Motel a hazard?

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
February 3rd, 2010

A local landmark – or eyesore, depending on your perspective – may soon be a thing of the past, as the City Centre Motel in downtown Castlegar has now come under the eye of local inspectors and safety officials.

Mayor Lawrence Chernoff said the dilapitated state of the building has given rise to concerns it might meet a similar fate to that of the abandoned Woodland Park Elementary School, which was burned to the ground by vandals last summer.
He said the city requested permission from the owner to inspect the site and was refused access, forcing officials to appeal to the provincial court in Nelson for a warrant.

The warrant was served Monday, when the city fire chief, building inspector, environmental health officer, a locksmith, and an RCMP member went into the building to assess whether the site is, in fact, unsafe.

“It’s an ongoing issue that we’re trying to resolve,” he said. “Community members have also expressed concern, and it’s just due diligence for us to follow up on that.”

Phil Markin, city director of planning and development, said the results of the inspection will likely be made public in a report to council at its next regular meeting on Feb. 15 but, before that, the city must notify the owner, should the inspection indicate council’s consideration of a resolution to declare the site a nuisance or “in unsafe condition”. This notification, via letter, gives the owner an opportunity to attend the meeting and speak on their own behalf.

Should council then adopt a resolution regarding the property, the owner must be notified and given an opportunity to address council again, before the city takes remedial action.

Markin stressed that no such decision has been made at this time, as the inspection results are still pending, but said any subsequent action, should it be required, will be similar to the process undertaken by the city in regard to the ruins of the Woodland Park School last year, in which the owner ultimately had to choose to undertake remedial work himself, or have the city do it and then bill the owner.


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