The following is courtesy of Maple Ridge Concerned Citizens.
Another sunny day in Maple Ridge means another day in provincial court dealing with the ongoing saga that is Northumberland Court. As opposed to last Friday which was an internal Northumberland court case, this court case was Northumberland Court vs the city of Maple Ridge.
To be more precise this was essential Mike Kwasnica and Steve Creighton vs Maple Ridge, because they appear to be the only ones trying to save the burnt out building (11731 Fraser st). Now it is quite confusing why two people who do not even own the suites would fight so hard for their survival and it seems the answer has come out during the court case today.
As it stands Kwasnica and Creighton are arguing that the building cannot be demolished because of the following reasons:
The insurance issue, ongoing since 2006 is still not settled and demolishing the building would create a situation that would end the insurance issue. It was asked why no one has photographed or document the shape of the building for the insurance settlement and surprise, no one had an answer for this.
Demolishing the burnt out building would also end another court application that the administrator of Northumberland has against Northumberland. Put another way, a case that Kwasnica and Creighton have against Athwal over repairing or not repairing the burnt out building would not go forward because there would be no more building. This became clearer when it came out during the proceedings that there is a foreclosure order that is going to be heard, presumably on July 29th over the four burnt out units that comprise 11731. The important thing here is what the units are currently valued at before they go into foreclosure and according to what was heard in court today those units are currently valued at $1000.00 a piece. So, hypothetically say someone with an interest in Northumberland Court such as Mike Kwasnica who already owns two suites, or Steve Creighton who is in defacto charge of Northumberland Court were to succeed in getting the suites into foreclosure it would only be one other step to then purchase these same units. It may sound far fetched, but Mike Kwasnica has openly stated he is interested in the units and feels they are completely capable of being rehabilitated. The province has shown they will fund units at Northumberland regardless of the condition they are in (no heat, mold, sewage water in crawl spaces – see the reports by the city) so really at a $1000.00 a pop they will be paid off in two and half months and it is back to business as usual for Kwasnica, Creighton and Athwal.
Even if the units are not rehabilitated the land they sit on is quite valuable and after allowing them to be run into the ground and dragging our entire community with it those three still stand to profit.
Notice none of the reasons above at all tie into the communities need for safety nor the tenants or other owners needs for housing. This is said because one thing that came out loud and clear during this court appearance is that there is no interest in the housing aspect, social or otherwise, at Northumberland. This is all about who gets final control over a large piece of downtown property that is already zoned for a multiple home development. No matter that this development may be a decade away, all of us are expected to sit back and have our rights trampled so Kwasnica Creighton and Athwal can carry on there fight and make as much money off the suffering of our community as possible.
There is quite a bit to add regarding today in court and unfortunately the most important bit of information is missing because no one from mrccc was able to be in court at 3 pm when the verdict was read.
If Kwasnica and Creighton are successful there will be a summary trial some time in September to decide if the city is right to impose the demolition order. If the city is successful there will be a large back hoe rolling into Northumberland Court sometime in the next ten days. Everyone is encourage to contact the city to enquire what the outcome of today's case was. It is your right as a citizen of Maple Ridge to find out the result of a court case (S-093620) that directly affects everyone in this city.
Ideally more about the court case in an upcoming update, many interesting things were said. A couple of quick favourites from today's case. According to the lawyer for Kwasnica and Creighton 11731 should not be torn down because there has been only one incident at the burnt out building since Creighton came on as administrator, as well, sit down for this one, 11731 is in no worse shape, and looks no worse, then the other buildings at Northumberland Court.
It is safe to say that a number of people will be looking forward to hearing the rumble of metal treads in the between Fraser and 224th st sometime this month.