Smithers town council has issued a remedial action requirement for the demolition of the laundry facility at the Alpine Court Apartments located at 1211 Bulkley Drive.
By remaining, the building is creating a hazardous situation for the residents and public, town staff said in a report.
On Sept. 9, 2020 a fire destroyed most of the roof of the building and the interior was badly damaged by fire, smoke, and water. The building inspector was in communication with the building owner, Smithers Community Services Association (SCSA), the next day to decide the next steps of action to take.
SCSA arranged to put up security fencing around the building while the logistics for the demolition were worked out. Normally, a building with extensive fire damage is demolished soon after the fire for the safety of the public.
In January, after several months of phone calls and emails, SCSA was sent a formal letter requesting the demolition of the building. Again, in early May, SCSA was sent a formal letter, this time outlining two options. One option was to submit a building permit for the reconstruction of the building within 14 days.
The other was to have the building demolished within 30 days. Both deadlines passed without communication from SCSA or their insurance agent, staff said.
On June 9, a building consultant called the town requesting a two-week extension to the previous deadlines. The town denied that request.
Staff expressed concern that if this damaged structure is subject to heavy snow, rain, or wind loading it could collapse, creating a hazardous condition. Also, soot and off-gassing from burnt structures are known carcinogens.
The burnt structure is also closely surrounded by multi-family residential units, creating a hazardous situation for the residents, and children play in an area close to the building, causing serious concern to the families.
Since council has now imposed a remedial action requirement for the demolition of the building, town staff will ensure the appropriate course of action is followed to ensure this building is demolished.
The SCSA does have an opportunity to request reconsideration by the council within 14 days of receiving notice, which will be sent by registered mail. If SCSA does not request council to reconsider, SCSA will have 30 days to complete the demolition.
In the event SCSA does not comply, town staff can ensure demolition goes ahead as soon as possible, with all costs incurred by the town added to SCSA’s property taxes.