The Oasis Plaza in Cache Creek will either be brought up to standards or action will be taken, Council decided at its Sept 23 meeting.
Council decided after reviewing a report from outgoing administrator Leslie Lloyd to issue the owner of the empty Oasis Plaza – the storefronts and apartments to the south of the Oasis Hotel – with an order to give the Village access to the building in order to carry out an inspection.
The building’s owner, Joe Carhoun, will be sent a letter demanding entrance by Oct. 23 so that it may be inspected by the building inspector, the Cache Creek Fire Chief and the Public Works supervisor in order to determine the condition of the building and whether remedial action is needed. If consent is not given by that date, the Village will apply to the court for an entry warrant to conduct that assessment.
If the owner consents to fix any problems identified by the assessment, he will be given another deadline to complete the repairs.
Lloyd wrote in her report: “The building has been vacant for approximately three years and is a constant source of complaints from residents and from neighbouring property owners with concerns related to the upkeep of the property and escalating deterioration of the building, as well as health and safety concerns and potential fire hazard as a result of its current condition and abandoned nature.”
In March, Cache Creek residents complained of dead and dying pigeons that had been trapped in one of the storefronts.
Lloyd’s report included correspondence with Carhoun since November 2011, just after she stated working for the Village. Most of it was trying to arrange access to the building for an inspection. The owner who lives in West Vancouver, had repeatedly failed to conduct necessary maintenance on the property and refused to let anyone in to inspect the premises.
“Staff is of the view,” she concluded in her report, “that the Oasis Plaza continues to remain a serious risk for health, safety and fire hazard. Staff has devoted a significant amount of time dealing with the property owner in an attempt to resolve this matter. Conducting a safety and compliance inspection to properly assess the initiation of requirements for remedial action is recommended. Remedial action requirements, if deemed necessary and appropriate in the circumstances by council, would be the best approach for the Village to take control of the matter and force action from the owner. Remedial action requirements could encompass demolition of the building, either by the owner completing the job by a determined deadline, or by placing the Village in the legal position to complete demolition and forcing sale of the property for recovery of costs (if unpaid by the owner).”