Property owners unhappy with demolition order

Kelowna City Council's decision to have the old Ponderosa Motel demolished is not sitting well with the building's owner.

Walter Weisstock, an officer with Witmar Holdings, calls the City's decision "short-sighted."

"We're getting tenders to do the asbestos remediation and the demolition of the property," says Weisstock. "For them to jump ahead of the gun right now for whatever reason they have... I don't like the way they forced us to do this."

Since closing down in 2011, the motel has seen over a hundred calls to RCMP, and 18 calls to City Bylaw, mostly due to people living in the building illegally, and other issues.

That being said, Weisstock says Witmar Holdings is being wrongly accused of ignoring the penalties that came with these violations.

"Bylaw lied to Council, saying that we never paid any of the fines," claims Weisstock. "We paid every fine that came in through our door. Some of them weren't sent to us, and I don't even know where they are.

Weisstock says the excavator that has been at the site for months has in fact been put to use by helping get rid of old furniture. He also insists that Witmar Holdings representatives check the building every morning and evening to ensure that there isn't anyone living there anymore.

With City Council voting unanimously to get rid of the old Motel, Witmar Holdings now has 30 days for demolition, otherwise the City will do it themselves and hand the bill to Witmar.

Weisstock says the company will be having a discussion on the near future on what their next step will be.