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Kelowna  

Airport Inn must shut down

The owner and tenants of the run-down Airport Inn in Lake Country have 45 days to comply with an order to vacate the property.

Council this week agreed to take remedial action against owner Raif Fleihan more than two decades after a notice on title was placed on the property.

This week's action allowed the municipality to slap a 45-day notice on tenants, including the owner, to vacate the premises.

"On Wednesday, we provided notice to around 15 units," said community development manager Jamie McEwan.

Fleihan is apparently going to appeal the ruling of council.

McEwan says the municipality took the action because the buildings are showing signs of "deferred maintenance, which are causing serious health and safety risks."

"What we are seeing is there are great concerns that people who are already at risk, are being put at even greater risk."

McEwan says for many residents, the Airport Inn, such as it is, is a last resort for them.

He says the municipality is doing everything they can to help those people find a suitable place to live.

"We are working within our authority as a municipality to facilitate connections with housing providers and try to facilitate what hopefully can be a soft landing and a positive outcome for those people," he said.

"However, the onus for that, at least within the 45-day timeline is really on the owner, and the tenants."

Under the remediation order, all entrances and windows are to be boarded up or sealed, and fences placed around the property.

The notice on title was placed in 1998 when buildings were placed on the property without permits.

McEwan says the municipality worked, in good faith, to try and bring the property under compliance for years.

He says a number of incomplete permitting processes were initiated, but never finalized.

Two years ago, council refused to issue a business license, which led to this week's action.

The property has been on the market for several months. The asking price, $8 million.



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