Friday, September 25, 2009

As the dust settles on Jackson Farm inner city woes in Maple Ridge are aired in Victoria - not a moment too soon.

One final reminder of the community meeting this Monday which will take place at the Fraserview Community Hall at the intersection of 116 Ave and 227 St in Maple Ridge.

As proof that speaking out on this issue is having a positive affect and being heard at the different levels of government the discussion below is taken from the Hansard (draft) notes during the afternoon sitting of September 24^th 2009.

Though the discussion is about the strata act of BC it is important that the situation at Northumberland is being brought up within the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.

Flaws in the strata act were certainly one of the contributing factors that lead to the decline in community safety in and around Northumberland Court.

*M. Sather:* ...I'll mention right now that we have a situation in Maple Ridge that has been in the news over the last number of years and continues to be. We have an owner-developer that has been so difficult to deal with, has caused so many police resources, so many fire department resources, so many hours by the local government officials to try to deal with this strata property…. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

If there's anything in this act that helps a situation like we have in Maple Ridge — and those in Maple Ridge will know very well of whom I speak — it will be a vast improvement to our lives, because it seems to affect each and every one of us. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

*M. Sather: *Yeah, the member for Maple Ridge–Mission *(M. Dalton)* knows of whom I speak. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

The majority owner…. This is a little bit of the history of what's going on, to inform the House on how hopefully useful this legislation is going to be. Through his lawyers, he informed the existing strata council that they were being removed through a vote of non-confidence by the majority owner. At the time, the owner and his family owned 12 of the 20 units, so they just manifestly said: "You guys are out of here." [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

Moving on to a couple of other things that happened. All motions from the floor to put money toward roof repairs and other issues were defeated, and the building is a disaster site. It's run-down. One section of it was burnt-out. The municipality, finally, after years and years of litigation and attempted action, were able just in the last couple of months to get that burnt-out skeleton demolished. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

It's been the site of not only a lot of drug dealing and other illegal activities but some very deplorable conditions that people have been living in down there. It has certainly been distressing to us all. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

The said meeting ended without a budget being passed. He then went on to use his majority of votes to increase the monthly strata fees, and he informed the other owners that he will become the general contractor in regards to repairs of the building — not to worry about any sort of conflict or anything like that. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

It's been particularly contentious in Maple Ridge. As I say, I've met — and I know the member for Maple Ridge–Mission has met — citizens groups that are concerned. Fire, social services — you name it. Local government people just tearing their hair out on how to deal with a strata where the owner-developer simply refuses to cooperate, is litigious, goes to court, fires his lawyer at the last minute, and the process has to start over again. He's very adept at keeping everybody off balance, no doubt about that. [DRAFT TRANSCRIPT ONLY]

For the full draft transcript go to

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