Owner of Penticton's Ogopogo Motel says he has the right to evict residents | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Owner of Penticton's Ogopogo Motel says he has the right to evict residents

July 21, 2021 - 6:00 AM

The owner of the dilapidated Ogopogo Motel in Penticton, doesn’t think the Residential Tenancy Branch has any jurisdiction over the eviction orders he’s issued to motel and campground residents.

The tenancy branch said last week it’s investigating the evictions at the motel.

The motel was bought by a developer, rezoned to accommodate two 15-storey towers and left to deteriorate, Ewen Stewart, owner of Azura Management told iNFOnews.ca. Azure took ownership of the Ogopogo Motel on June 21 and issued the eviction notices the next day so people would be gone by the end of July.

“I don’t know how you get a mobile home into Residential Tenancy Act,” Stewart said. He was referring to the campground portion of the 2.2 acre site at 270 Riverside Drive. There are about 20 recreational vehicles parked there.

That’s covered by the City of Penticton’s Campsite Bylaw, Stewart said. The bylaw only allows recreational vehicles to stay for a maximum of 30 days.

Those are recreational vehicles, not modular manufactured homes that are covered by the Act, he argued.

“In the motel, there are a total of 17 units,” he said. “Only seven have been occupied for the last several years. The balance of them are not habitable.”

Those were supposed to be on daily rentals since the end of May, he said.

“There’s a hodgepodge of regulations,” Stewart said. “There’s the city zoning bylaw, city Campsite Bylaw and the Innkeepers Act, which is what the licensing says we fall under.”

It will be up to the lawyers to sort out the dispute with the Residential Tenancy Branch, he said.

Plans have not been finalized for what will be built on the motel site.

“I have no idea, but you have to start somewhere,” Stewart said.

Before any work can be done, the site has to be preloaded for 12 to 18 months, which is why Stewart wants to clear the property now.

Azure is developing 35 “upscale town homes” on the site next door, which are about 75 per cent complete.

“The site next door was another RV Park,” Stewart said. “We had bought it and bought the Highland Motel. It was the local crack motel. We nuked it. We’re cleaning up the neighbourhood.”

“If a landlord wants to demolish a housing site, they must obtain all the necessary permits from the respective city and then serve their tenants with a four-month notice to end tenancy,” states an email to iNFOnews.ca from the Residential Tenancy Branch, which will not discuss any other details of its investigation. “For tenants living in manufactured home parks, 12 months’ notice is required.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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