The picture shows Lake Country’s Airport Inn before their deck collapsed an order to close down was issued. (Photo - Capital News)

The picture shows Lake Country’s Airport Inn before their deck collapsed an order to close down was issued. (Photo - Capital News)

Lake Country aims to find happy-medium in Airport Inn shutdown

Airport Inn residents will have until Oct. 5. to find a new home unless an appeal is approved

The residents of Airport Inn will have nowhere to go if their Lake Country accommodations are boarded up by district council next month.

On Aug. 20. Lake Country council ordered the motel of 20 years to be shut down no later than Oct. 5, with all residents gone and boarded up, with a fence around the perimeter.

In 2017, the motel was shut down for health and safety purposes after a deck collapse warranted safety measures to be taken.

Despite numerous fines by the city and a revoked business permit, owner Raif Fleihan has continued operations, currently housing about a dozen people.

Now, Fleihan is appealing the court’s decision to close down the motel by Oct. 5. Fleihan’s lawyer addressed the council on Tuesday night, asking for more time to allow his client’s tenants to find new accommodations.

“They do (council) recognize that this is a more complicated issue,” said Michael Mercer, Lake Country’s director of policy and legal affairs.

“We (staff) have been working on getting a demographic of who is there, what their needs are. We are trying to match those with various provincial agencies because there is quite a diverse group staying there with various needs.”

ALSO READ: Airport Inn Lakeside owner cares for his residents but not the Lake Country Calendar

ALSO READ: Airport Inn to appeal remedial action

While the district understands the importance of taking the proper steps to ensure the safety and well-being of the Airport Inn tenants, Mercer said there is also a need to ensure what is done is in the best interest of the Lake Country community as well.

“As a municipal government, we are trying to have the least (negative) impact to both the greater community and the community at the airport in,” he said.

“With that said we need to deal with this. There are public safety issues with the building and we are aware of some people who are kind of against some of the bylaws and things that we have in place.

We have to find a balance, we have to be considerate of the people that are there (motel) and the greater community.”

Lake Country does not currently have an emergency shelter in place.

Mercer expects the council to respond to Fleihan’s appeal at their next meeting on Oct. 1.


@Niftymittens14
daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A windstorm Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, hit Lake Country hard closing Hare Road while crews respond to a broken water main. (District of Lake Country - Facebook)
TAYLOR: Discovering the essentials of life

Calendar columnist Jim Taylor reflects on last week’s windstorm

A Vernon man's faith in humanity has been restored since his lost wallet was returned, credit cards, cash and all, to the RCMP station. (Contributed)
Good Samaritan turns in cash-filled wallet to Vernon Mounties

Owner’s faith in humanity restored following a tough few weeks

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to a single-vehicle rollover Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, after a vehicle came into contact with a pedestrian light pole at Kalamalka Lake Road and 14th Avenue. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Minor injuries in rollover after vehicle hits Vernon crosswalk pole

The vehicle flipped onto its side, closing Kalamalka Lake Road

Vernon's Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with an influenza outbreak amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)
Two more deaths at Vernon care home

Noric House case numbers remain steady, but death toll rises

The BC SPCA is adapting its fundraising after cancelling events due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
BC SPCA gets creative with fundraising as pandemic continues

The non-profit’s in-person fundraising events all had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

Penticton city council heard from Dhorea Ramanula, of Paid Employment for People with Lived Experiences Tuesday, Jan. 19. Ramanula’s organization has operated public washrooms in Kelowna staffed by community support workers since April, she says Penticton could benefit from a similar facility. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
Penticton interested in new public washroom concept to combat vandalism

Public washrooms with on-site support staff have been operating in Kelowna since April

Canada Post had remove a lot of letter boxes around Penticton after they were vandalized. This letter box at the United Church on Main St. remains unscathed. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Street mailbox vandals strike Penticton drop boxes

Canada Post had to remove a bunch of the vandalized units

Esa Carriere, 23, was the victim of a 2018 Canada Day homicide. (File)
Youth sentenced in Kelowna Canada Day killing

Young woman pleaded guilty to lesser assault charge, sentenced to 15-month intensive support and supervision program

A rendering of UBC’s planned downtown Kelowna campus. (Contributed)
Kelowna’s new downtown campus to help alleviate UBCO’s space crunch

The sizable development is anticipated to be completed by the fall 2024 semester

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Most Read