Lake Coun­try ho­tel de­nied busi­ness li­cence

The Daily Courier - - CITY - By Daily Courier Staff

The town of Lake Coun­try was within its right to deny a busi­ness li­cence to the owner of a prob­lem-plagued mo­tel, a judge has ruled.

There were sev­eral health and safety con­cerns sur­round­ing the Lake­side Air­port Inn, B.C. Supreme Court Jus­tice Dev Dley noted in his rul­ing.

As well, ren­o­va­tions were un­der­taken with­out a build­ing per­mit, a stop-work or­der was ig­nored, and the mo­tel was the sub­ject of many com­plaints.

“It would defy logic to in­sist that a busi­ness li­cence be granted to a hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try ap­pli­cant who had failed to com­ply with mat­ters such as health or san­i­ta­tion,” Dley ruled.

Mo­tel owner Raif Flei­han had sought a ju­di­cial re­view of the town’s de­ci­sion not to re­new his busi­ness li­cence.

In Fe­bru­ary 2016, Dley notes in his rul­ing, Lake Coun­try’s fire in­spec­tor went to the mo­tel and found sev­eral is­sues of con­cern.

“(T)here was mould in the in­te­rior, stor­age of house­hold and com­bustible ef­fects in the elec­tri­cal rooms, wa­ter leak­ing from the ceil­ing, bro­ken emer­gency lights, small fires in sev­eral elec­tri­cal out­lets and de­fi­cient smoke de­tec­tors,” the judge said.

In Fe­bru­ary 2017, Lake Coun­try coun­cil voted against re­new­ing Flei­han's busi­ness li­cence for the mo­tel.

Given the cir­cum­stances, that de­ci­sion was “rea­son­able,” the judge ruled.

Town coun­cil then adopted a new busi­ness li­cence by­law, which stip­u­lates the ap­proval of li­cence, fire, and build­ing in­spec­tors, as well as by­law en­force­ment.

Flei­han ar­gued the li­cens­ing process was so cum­ber­some it would dis­qual­ify many op­er­a­tors from ob­tain­ing a li­cence.

But the judge said the by­law laid out “rea­son­able and rel­e­vant con­sid­er­a­tions” for the is­suance of a li­cence.

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