PAVING PROB­LEMS

City of Char­lot­te­town paves park­ing spa­ces in ho­tel park­ing lot amid con­fu­sion over pub­lic-right-of-way af­ter guests in­jured

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVE STE­WART dave.ste­wart@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/DveSte­wart

City of Char­lot­te­town paves park­ing spa­ces in ho­tel park­ing lot amid con­fu­sion over pub­lic-right-of-way af­ter guests in­jured

The City of Char­lot­te­town stepped in to pave part of a park­ing lot on pri­vate prop­erty this week over con­cerns about pub­lic safety af­ter some guests were in­jured get­ting out of their ve­hi­cles.

But, as it turns out, the city might ac­tu­ally own the land it paved.

The city moved on the is­sue af­ter the mat­ter be­came a li­a­bil­ity is­sue when some guests of the Rodd Char­lot­te­town Ho­tel tripped and fell get­ting out of their ve­hi­cles on a park­ing space lo­cated on the park­ing lot that cor­ners Kent and Pow­nal streets.

Two park­ing spa­ces were paved, one for hand­i­capped park­ing and one for able-bod­ied park­ing, although the hand­i­capped spot has enough room for two ve­hi­cles.

“Re­cently, there was a cou­ple of in­di­vid­u­als that had some mi­nor trip and falls and had a bit of an in­jury com­ing out of their ve­hi­cles,’’ said Scott Adams, as­sis­tant man­ager of Char­lot­te­town’s pub­lic works depart­ment.

“Se­nior man­age­ment here, in con­sul­ta­tion with the ho­tel man­age­ment staff, deemed it was nec­es­sary in the in­ter­est of pub­lic safety . . . to get this work done sooner rather than later. It was de­ter­mined that city crews would go in and patch the holes.’’

That still raises the ques­tion of why the city cor­po­ra­tion is paving the park­ing lot of a pri­vate busi­ness. How­ever, there seems to be some con­fu­sion as to who owns the pub­lic right-of-way the ho­tel uses at the cor­ner of Kent and Pow­nal streets.

“When it was brought to the city’s at­ten­tion,’’ he said, re­fer­ring to the in­jured guests, “we started to dig a lit­tle deeper and that’s when we no­ticed a dis­crep­ancy (in who owned the land). From the 1800s there is a sur­vey that says the city ac­tu­ally has a pub­lic right-of-way of 100 feet, but the pro­vin­cial land man­age­ment reg­istry says we only have a 60-foot right-of-way. So, the 100-foot right-of-way ac­tu­ally puts us right at the front door step of the ho­tel where the 60-foot right-of-way puts us just be­hind the side­walk.’’

The city is cur­rently in talks with a sur­veyor to un­der­take a study to fig­ure out, once and for all, based on his­tor­i­cal in­for­ma­tion, what the cor­rect right-of-way is.

Adams said the city acted im­me­di­ately to re­duce li­a­bil­ity, not­ing that paving the park­ing spa­ces will cost $700 and will be paid, in full, by the ho­tel, re­gard­less of what the sur­veyor de­ter­mines.

“It was in the in­ter­est of time with both par­ties. The ho­tel wanted to make sure the pub­lic was safe — and so did the city — and that was the agree­ment that both par­ties came to.’’

As for the other park­ing lot used by Rodd Char­lot­te­town Ho­tel guests on Fitzroy Street, that is en­tirely city prop­erty.

“There is documentation on that. How­ever, the ho­tel is 100 per cent re­spon­si­ble for the main­te­nance. Line paint­ing would be (its re­spon­si­bil­ity), too.’’

Man­age­ment at the ho­tel did not re­turn a call seek­ing com­ment.

DAVE STE­WART/THE GUARDIAN

A woman walks by two park­ing spa­ces at the Rodd Char­lot­te­town Ho­tel on Thurs­day that were paved this week by the City of Char­lot­te­town when some guests tripped on pot­holes and de­pres­sions in the old pave­ment. As it turns out, the city may own the land.

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