Vancouver landlord responsible for sub par home 

Notice placed on title of White Gold property

One of Vancouver's most infamous landlords is also been renting unfit property to Whistler residents.

During last week's council meeting it came to light that Paul Sahota owns a White Gold home with a history of complaints dating back to 2006.

Sahota is a member of the same Sahota family who manages several run-down hotels and apartments in Vancouver. The family resides in a $1.7 million house in Shaughnessy, Vancouver.

Joe Mooney, manager of the municipal building department, told council that Whistler's public works and safety group inspected the property in April.

Among the construction violations they found was the west attic developed into a two-bedroom suite, the east attic developed beyond code and a crawlspace developed into a livable area.

An extra bedroom was added to the main part of the house at 7305 Fitzsimmons Road South, and two bedrooms did not have enough windows.

And, said Mooney, there were two wood-burning appliances installed without permits and the outdoor deck, stairs and handrails were not built properly.

Sahota received an order from the fire department to remove any tenants in the attic space or the two rooms without proper windows.

"Now they are trying to rectify the problem," Mooney told council. "They took out a permit to demolish, and we have to take that in good faith. We want to make the property livable again and work towards making it right."

Mooney told council the municipality cannot force people out of the house, only out of the rooms that are unfit for living.

After learning about the numerous infractions, Whistler council voted unanimously to put a notice on title last week.

"We need to have this owner understand that there are safety issues and compliance issues and abiding by our bylaws is essential for us to get to a safe and secure community," commented Mayor Ken Melamed.

Sahota did not come forward at the Whistler council meeting.

Melamed returns from European sustainability tour

One hour before last week's council meeting began Mayor Ken Melamed arrived back in Whistler after spending two weeks speaking to several groups in Europe on sustainability.

Between June 21 and July 6, Melamed was hosted by four communities in Ireland and Sweden, where he spoke about sustainability and responsible tourism. He also met with officials from Annecy, France, who are involved in a bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

"Whistler 2020 and the work Whistler is doing is the envy of every community I get to," said the mayor. "They are always incredibly thankful for us taking the time to share with them what we do and share the lessons learned."

The trip was entirely paid for by the European communities who invited him to speak, he said.

Pay parking revenue totals $54,000 in first weeks

Revenue from pay parking at the day lots added up to $54,000 during the first two weeks, according to the municipality's Melissa Darou.

During the first week, between June 28 and July 4, the municipality collected $30,000 from the pay kiosks installed at parking lots 1, 2 and 3.  And last week, between July 5 and 11, about $24,300 was collected.

However, both those revenues are down from the $38,500 average the municipality hopes to collect from pay parking each week, or $2 million worth of revenue each year.

Mayor Ken Melamed stressed last week that it will take a few weeks before the pay parking program ramps up.

He added Lots 4 and 5 tend to fill up earlier in the day, "leaving the most convenient parking for guests, who tend to arrive between 10 and 11 o'clock."

The municipality will also release an extensive report on parking at the Aug. 17 council meeting. A comprehensive review will be undertaken in the fall.

Municipal staff members are also looking at introducing parking passes.

"Staff is saying this is a work in progress, and in some ways you can call it a bit of a pilot," said the mayor last week. "We are starting this and will continue to assess and monitor it."

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