Port Alberni council votes to issue demolition order for Port Pub

Port Alberni council votes to issue demolition order for Port Pub
CHEK

The Port Pub and Hotel in Port Alberni, which became more of a rooming house in recent years, will likely be torn down within a month or two.

“So on Monday, we had a council meeting where we did give final determination to approve a demolition order for the Port Pub,” Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions told CHEK News Tuesday.

The building has been boarded up for almost a month after roughly 30 people living there were evicted on May 29 for safety reasons.

The sprinkler system wasn’t working, so a 24-hour fire watch had to be put in place, but when asbestos was later found, the workers couldn’t work. For everyone’s safety, by order of the fire chief, all the tenants had to leave.

READ PREVIOUS: Port Hotel residents in Port Alberni being told to vacate due to asbestos

Numerous community groups then worked to try to find homes for everyone.

“You know, this is what I think makes a situation like this so difficult is those are the long-term homes for a lot of people and the only home they’ve had in quite a few years for about 30 members of our community, so every single tenant on site was offered somewhere to go,” Minions said.

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About five people chose not to accept the accommodation.

City council had hoped BC Housing would purchase the building and take on the expensive renovations needed to re-establish housing there, but BC Housing decided against it.

So now, the owner Peter Wang has been told the building has to come down because it’s a public safety risk.

Wang has 14 days to appeal the decision. If he doesn’t appeal, he must demolish the Port Pub Hotel, and if he doesn’t do it, the city will do it for him.

“It’s a last resort when we come to a decision like this to demolish somebody’s private property,” added Minions.

“The city has been trying to deal with the property owner for a long time, and unfortunately, it has come to this point.”

The mayor says if the city is forced to demolish the building, which could happen within a couple of months, it can recoup the costs through “taxation or, more likely, a tax sale.”

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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