By Breanne Massey
The Village of Radium Hot Springs may be forced to make a tough decision regarding the property owned by 876334 BC Ltd the group that recently took over the title of a foreclosure action on a large syndicated mortgage for the Copperhorn Chalets to either complete or demolish the development.
Radium council unanimously made a resolution at their regular March 23rd meeting to encourage chief administrative assistant Mark Read to work with staff in order to commission a professional engineering report to determine if the development is structurally sound with a focus on the structural insulated panels an effort that could help protect the municipality from any future liability issues pertaining to the structural integrity of the buildings.
The Village of Radium Hot Springs had sent a Notice of Remedial Action to 876334 BC Ltd on August 12th, 2015, requesting that the structure either be completed or demolished within 90 days from the Remedial Action Notice (by approximately November 13th).
The Remedial Action Notice had been temporarily postponed to collect information about the structural soundness of the development, but it was not provided by 876334 BC Ltd.
The final report (by 876334 BC Ltd) was actually due and (the deadline has) passed, Mr. Read told council at the meeting. The day after the due date, Arne Dohlen (director of planning and development for the Village of Radium Hot Springs) had a meeting with the representatives of the company and they brought us up to date with their work, which is quite promising in my opinion.
He circulated copies of a comprehensive mitigation report to councillors before the meeting for review.
It details all of the work that is required to bring the Copperhorn Chalets up to compliance, and also in conjunction with that, they have solicited quotes from a number of construction companies for that work, said Mr. Read. The one element of that work that Arne and I felt was missing was a professional report that dealt specifically with the structural soundness of the structural insulated panels, which those buildings are constructed of. At the time in our discussions, the architect who was at that meeting assured us that in his opinion the (structural insulated panels) were structurally sound and that the work could continue.
The results from a professional engineering report will likely determine what action council will take in the future and the outcome of the remedial action notice.
This report will not necessarily decide what action is to be taken next, but it will certainly help inform the decisions to be made about the buildings, Mr. Read wrote to The Pioneer in a recent email. Structural defects or issues, if any exist, can usually be mitigated.
Counc. Karen Larsen voiced a strong desire to see Mr. Read and council commission its own structural report.
I like the idea of us taking the initiative and having someone come in if theyre (876334 BC Ltd) going to bear that expense, she told her peers, while indicating council should accept responsibility for developments within the municipality.
Coun. Tyler McCauley expressed his concerns about the development and its delays, as well as for the frustrated citizens who live near the property.
Im for commissioning the report and declining their extension, said Coun. McCauley. Its been enough.
Mayor Clara Reinhardt urged the Village of Radium Hot Springs council to search for a solution that could meet the needs of everybody involved in the project.
I think we have a hybrid, Mr. Read replied. Were still working with them because they are definitely trying to get resolution which, in my opinion, is in the best interest of the municipality, but we dont want to dilly dally about it and theres this underlying concern that we need to identify sooner than later, whether the buildings are structurally sound.
876334 BC Ltd spokesperson Jack Levy was unavailable for comments prior to The Pioneers press time.
I note your questions but I cant comment until next week as our chief restructuring officer is out of the country and I cant consult him until then, Mr. Levy said by email on March 28th.
Neighbours voice their concerns
The issues surrounding the 876334 BC Ltd development such as fire hazards, wildlife, vagabonds and petty criminals have brought concerned citizens with neighbouring properties together to demand a solution.
Frustrated homeowners near the Copperhorn Chalets in the Village of Radium Hot Springs have been fighting for a solution to the delays in development for several years. Now there are some property owners demanding that the Village of Radium Hot Springs follow through with the remedial action request and veto any future requests from the 876334 BC Ltd for grace periods.
Our main focus on this is that the village needs to follow through on the latest remedial action request and that no more grace periods are given, said Jeff Wagman, a Calgary-based resident with a Radium Hot Springs condo located adjacent to the unfinished development.
Mr. Read indicated there have been several formal complaints over the years from homeowners who live near the 876334 BC Ltd development, with issues ranging from security problems and safety to aesthetic appearance.
The majority of the complaints were the original ones that led to council imposing the remedial action in the first place, Mr. Read told to The Pioneer by email.
In addition, the Columbia Valley RCMP have responded to several complaints at or near the 876334 BC Ltd development.
Non-Commissioned Officer in charge (NCO-ic) Grant Simpson could not go into the details of the crimes with The Pioneer, as investigations are currently ongoing.
For us, there are some residences that are of concern, said Mr. Simpson.
Bob Cutler, a Calgary-based resident with a second home in Radium Hot Springs located adjacent to the 876334 BC Ltd development, believes the unfinished development shines a bad light on the community.
For us, its been a nightmare because weve (the neighbours surrounding the development) have had eight years of unfinished stratas and all of the nonsense that goes with it the potential fire hazard, the drug deals, the vagrants, animals that get in there and the grounds have not been secured so anyone looking long enough and hard enough will get in, said Mr. Cutler, noting his condo was purchased roughly five years ago in spite of the ongoing developmental problems.