Monday, July 27, 2009

The Dog Days of Summer

Hard to say if this can be considered an update. The reason being is that since the demolition of 11731 Fraser St, otherwise known as the burnt out building, very little has happen in regards to the other remedial actions at Northumberland Court. Put another way, the majority owner has not performed any meaningful repairs at Northumberland since the repairs were mandated by the city back in April.

The plan as explained by the director of bylaws is to wait until the expiry date of the remedial actions (July 31st) and then sometime after that the city will once again go down to Northumberland and inspect the suites owned by the majority owner. Once this is done they will once again put the report to council at which time council will vote as to whether or not to uphold the remedial actions they have already imposed. Chances are they will uphold them which then means the majority owner can try and take this to court, or the city will begin the process to get bids on repairs to the 11 damaged suites.

Keep in mind that if the city elects to do the repairs the bill will be footed by the taxpayer until such a time as the money owed can be collected. As to what the plan is regarding the buildings with tenants and what will happen with those tenants during the repairs the plan from the city is wait and see. Likewise in the event that the remaining suites have disturbed asbestos, the city is going to wait and see.

The problem with the wait and see attitude is that when there is no plan to follow the city is just as likely to allow the situation to carry on as it has for the last five years. Questions as to whether any of the Athwal suites will have functioning furnaces, as is required by the BC building code, seem to be in limbo.

What this all means is that hopefully people have had a chance to rest up during the summer break because unless something radical happens on either the Athwal front, or the city front it looks like this situation will still be on-going well into the winter.

On the management front unless things have changed strata corp NW8 will be back in provincial court on July 29 2009 to see who will be in charge. It seems this one is a lose lose situation for everyone in the community. On the one hand it may be returned to Athwal and no further proof is needed of his ability to manage. The other choice is the court appointed administrator and everyone around NW8 knows what a job he has done over the last 14 months.

So while council waits for another report, the courts wait to decide who will be in charge of NW8, the rest of wait to have our neighbourhood back and watch for the corner in the horizon that we all hope will be turned and this neighbourhood will finally have the same rights as every other neighbourhood in Maple Ridge.

If anyone has questions you are all encourage to phone bylaws director Brock McDonald at 604-467-7370 and enquire about things such as timelines to completion and whether the other suites, that have disturbed drywall, will also be tested for asbestos before repairs are undertaken.

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