- Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

Judge rules controversial Lake Country inn will not get business licence

A Court of Appeal judge sided with the district Tuesday

Airport Inn Lakeside will not be getting a business licence anytime soon.

The B.C. Court of Appeal ruled this week that the District of Lake Country acted reasonably when refusing to renew the Inn’s business licence, supporting an April decision by a Kamloops judge.

The case is long-standing in Lake Country and the district decided in recent years against renewing the business licence last year because of health and safety concerns. Some of the issues were water-logged floors, electrical problems and mold.

“Secondary issues include frequent and recurring fire inspection and RCMP issues with the property/business,” said Jamie McEwan, community development manager, in a report presented to council at that time. Between April 1, 2009 and Nov. 25, 2016 there were 162 calls for service at the hotel.

READ MORE: Business as usual at controversial Lake Country inn, despite failure to attain a licence

On Feb. 16, 2016, the district’s fire inspector attended the site and noted mold in the interior, storage of household effects and combustible materials in the electrical rooms, water leaking from the ceiling, broken emergency lights, small fires in several electrical outlets and deficient smoke detectors.

The RCMP also advised that they had attended at the inn an average of 28 times per year for a variety of complaints.

Owner Reif Fleihan argued the district failed to send him copies of documents until after the meeting in February, 2017, where the decision was made not to renew the licence.

However, the Kamloops judge ruled that, “there had been discussions with (Fleihan) he had been told of the district’s concerns over the inn’s condition. Fleihan’s solicitor had also been involved with the discussions. At all times, the district had disclosed its concerns and had made suggestions as to how the concerns might be addressed.”

The Court of Appeal judge supported that view.

“To suggest that Raif did not have notice of the deficiencies with the premises troubling the district is simply to ignore the facts at bar,” the appeal judge said, in court documents regarding Tuesday’s decision.

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