By David F. Rooney
Incensed by the late notice about the City’s roundabout construction project, Gateway Inn owner William Zhao is suing the City because its roundabout construction project, which he says he was not told about until very late Friday afternoon, will block direct access to his hotel.
The Gateway Inn has two entrances. The first is directly on the corner of Victoria and Wright. The second is off of First Street West, kitty-corner to Okanagan College.
Fellow owners Sam Cho of Days Inn and Dean Leman of Monashee Lodge said Monday morning that they are also considering additional lawsuits.
Zhao’s lawsuit was filed on August 10 in BC Supreme Court by Reinhard Burke of Burke Law Corporation of Chase after an un-named City employee gave Zhao a sketch that “showed that the project will completely deprive the plaintiff of the means to access his property.”
“The defendant has failed to obtain the consent of the plaintiff before depriving the plaintiff of access,” Burke said in the plaintiff’s Notice of Claim he filed on behalf of Zhao’s England Holdings Ltd. “Alternatively the defendant has not paid any compensation to the plaintiff as required and has not provided to the plaintiff another means of access that is sufficient for this purpose.”
Burke’s Notice of Claim said the Gateway Inn has an estimated market value of $4 million.
“The complete loss of means of access will result in a substantial diminution in the market value of the plaintiff’s property,” it said. “…The estimates that he market value of its property after the means of access has been eliminated would be approximately $500,000.”
Zhao is seeking an injunction preventing the City from closing off his access to Victoria and Wright, damages, compensation and court costs.
All three hoteliers have already complained abut the extremely short notice they were given about the decision to proceed with the project starting on Monday, August 15. They said they were not told until late Friday. In fact, Leman said he was not told until 3:50 pm. City Hall closes at 4:30 pm.
The angry hoteliers say they have been unable to get through to Mayor Mark McKee or any of Revelstoke’s six City Councillors. They are not impressed.
The hoteliers say they have been unable to get through to Mayor Mark McKee or any of Revelstoke’s six City Councillors. They are not impressed. To be fair to Mayor McKee he was contacted by The Current on Monday afternoon and is expected to comment.
“We’re not trying to hold up progress, but you have to do it intelligently,” Leman said in an interview on Monday morning. “You have to talk to the businesses that are affected.”
But that hasn’t happened.
He said he is considering filing his own lawsuit but needs to find a lawyer willing to sue the City. One local lawyer he contacted said he “didn’t want to fight City Hall.”
Sam Cho, too, said he is considering a lawsuit.
“My concern is disruption and possible loss of business,” he said.
The following list of links will take your to stories, videos, photos and links to relevant documents regarding the roundabout issue. You can access additional material, including letters to the editor, by entering the search term ’roundabout’ in the search field on the right-hand side of your screen.
Click here to read:
- a March 3 story regarding the City’s Open House on the roundabout project.
- a May 9 story about Council’s decision to fix the Nightmare on Victoria Road.
- a May 29 story about Council’s further discussion about how to proceed.
- a June 17 story about even more Council discussion about the traffic circle.
- a June 24 interview wityh Highways and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone confirming that the province will pick up a major piece of the tab for improvements to the Victoria Road intersection with the Trans-Canada Highway, including the roundabout.
- a July 7 story (see the last paragraph) noting that Council agrees with a consultant’s proposal to commence with the roundabout this fall and complete — next year — the rest of a suite of proposed changes to the turns into the McDonalds-A&W-Starbucks and Tim Hortons-Shell-Motel 8.
- a July 28 story about Council’s decision to award the roundabout construction project to Speers Construction.
- an August 14 story about the three hoteliers’ anger at the construction project’s short notice.