Lake Country hotel denied business licence
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.