The City of Castlegar is able to go ahead and demolish downtown’s City Centre Motel, according to a decision released by the B.C. Court of Appeal on Monday.
A Nov. 19 ruling gave the city the green light to start the demolition, but owners Susan and Basil McLaren appealed the decision on Dec. 3.
The McLarens gave seven reasons to their appeal, including that the judge had erred in law in determining that the city had reasonable grounds to order the demolition and that the judge had also erred in her determination that there was no sufficient evidence of bias in the conduct of city council.
However, the B.C. Court of Appeal upheld B.C. Supreme Court Justice Lynn Smith’s original decision, in which she stated that “the city had made unsuccessful efforts over a number of years to compel Ms. McLaren to comply with city by-laws to clean up the property.”
“We are very pleased that the courts have upheld council’s decision to deal with the City Centre property,” Mayor Lawrence Chernoff said in a statement.
“While we regret that the property owner Ms. McLaren did not see fit to maintain the property or address the city’s concerns over the past 10 years, council has been united in moving forward to clean up the property.”
Phil Markin, development services director for the city told the Castlegar News in January that if the city won the appeal, they would go ahead with the demolition process. He added the McLarens have already done some demolition on their own.
The city already has a contractor in place and plans to begin demolition in the “near future.”
The city and the McLarens have been at odds over the property, located on 2nd Street, for more than 10 years.