Regional District of Nanaimo suspends demolition order on Cassidy Inn

NANAIMO – Owner of Cassidy Inn Hotel has 30 days to make site safer and six months to submit redevelopment plan.

Alex Dutton

Alex Dutton

The Regional District of Nanaimo board has suspended a demolition order on the Cassidy Inn Hotel and ordered the owner to secure and make the site safer within 30 days.

While the board previously ordered demolition by June 8, the owner requested a reconsideration hearing that took place Tuesday night. The board reaffirmed that it considered the building hazardous and gave the owner 30 days to address the unsafe conditions.

Among the concerns voiced during the hearing was the fact that the building on 2954 Canyon Rd., just north of Nanaimo Airport, is a fire hazard and evidence suggesting it is used by squatters.

Tom Armet, regional district building and bylaw services manager, said remedial action will include the installation of permanent security fencing and fire and security monitoring systems, removal of dilapidated exterior stairs and permanent closure of ground openings.

The owner has been directed to bring forward property redevelopment plans within six months, said Armet.

He said staff will be monitoring progress in the next 30 days and the demolition order could be revisited at any time.

Alex Dutton, legal counsel for Manno Powar, a director with the numbered company which owns the site, said her client is pleased with the regional district’s decision. He is committed to redeveloping the property and his immediate concerns are with site security and safety, which will all be rectified in 30 days, she said.

In terms of the redevelopment, Dutton said her client is working on a plan and considering re-opening the pub.

“He’s still in the process of designing,” said Dutton. “He’s got some thoughts he thinks he wants to develop it consistent with the way that it used to be, but as I said, his immediate focus is those safety and security issues.”

Nanaimo directors Bill Bestwick, Jerry Hong, Bill Yoachim and Diane Brennan removed themselves from the hearing due to conflict of interest.

Hong said he had enlisted the services of Dutton’s firm, Cook Roberts LLP, previously.

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