Thursday, January 24, 2008

Green Apple gains 45 days to find a fix for its structural challenges

A well known landmark in the city has been provided with 45 days to examine issues regarding the safety of the structure that has long dominated the corner of McBride and 3rd Avenue East.

The Green Apple Restaurant was the topic of a special session of city council on Wednesday, after the city’s building inspector reported concerns regarding the structures stability, and potential safety concerns for the public.

CFTK’s website outlined some of the contents of a letter to owner Gordon Lam, which deemed the building was unsafe and would need to be demolished.

The building came onto the city’s radar after Lam had consulted a local contractor over some planned renovations to his building, at that time the request was passed on to the city’s building inspector and an out of town engineering firm.

From there the restaurant was ordered not to reopen to the public and Lam appeared in front of the special session on Wednesday night to present his case on the issue. Part of which was some frustration on his part over his attempts to gain the city’s attention over troubles with a retaining wall that was causing his property troubles and for which he apparently has been trying to gain recourse over for twenty years.

He outlined his worries about his business and frustrations at the current situation in an interview on the CBC's Daybreak North on the radio network's affiliate in Prince Rupert.

The net sum of his appearance in front of Wednesday’s council session was an extension on the original date for demolition, with instructions to work with the city’s engineering department to try to come to a workable situation for all.

It’s a heart wrenching tale of a local business owner, who has invested his money and time into a business for just over a quarter of a century. Who now suddenly finds not only his livelihood but his investment and future, all left to the decision of city hall.

The restaurant is still listed on a local real estate website as for sale, with an asking price of 225,000 dollars, though it's not clear if it is still actively on the market, but if so clearly that would be affected by any order of demolition by the city.

While safety is of course a major concern for all, you have to hope that somehow an accommodation can be arrived at that will relieve the city of its concerns, while allowing Mr. Lam to continue to dish out his fish and chips as he has to Rupertites for 26 years.

The local information site e-Prince Rupert was quite active in following the trail of this situation, with a fair amount of information provided on their website, including a number of photos and reports that outlined the rapidly changing situation for Mr. Lam’s life long business.

No comments: