One of the boarded up buildings owned by Eric Woodward on Glover Road. Miranda Gathercole Langley Times

Fraser Health: Fort Langley’s boarded up buildings ‘filthy, unsightly’

Eric Woodward says buildings will remain boarded up, following letter from health inspector

At least two boarded-up buildings in Fort Langley owned by builder Eric Woodward will not be re-opening to the public anytime soon.

Woodward recently received a letter from public health inspector Bob Boyd of Fraser Health, calling the locations of two former businesses on Glover Road “filthy, unsightly and predominately dilapidated.”

“In other words, the buildings are uninhabitable or beyond retrieval,” Boyd wrote.

“Consequently, there are two critical concerns with these old, empty buildings in the centre of this commercial and residential area. The infestation of rats and other vermin and secondly, and not less important, is the potential for fire and the spread of fire to the adjoining and adjacent buildings.

“Demolition is the logical solution.”

The buildings — which were originally constructed in the 1950s — have been boarded up since the fall, when Woodward reached an impasse with the Township of Langley on development he had planned for the village.

READ MORE: Buildings boarded up in impasse over development

He had looked at renovating the locations last year when one of the tenants informed him they were seeking a new location, but determined it wasn’t economically viable. Fraser Health did not do an inspection at that time.

“It was more about the tenants’ point of view. If I’m going to try to re-rent this to somebody, they’re going to want a long term lease, they’re not going to invest any money for a month-to-month tenancy,” Woodward told the Times.

“And, I concluded that the amount of money that I’d have to put into it, the amount of money that they’d have to put into it, and then corresponding the amount of time or the length of the lease that they would want, determined there was no real reason to do that economically. It doesn’t make sense. For all I know, the Township’s going to change its mind tomorrow and say that I’m good to go ahead, and now I’ve got a five-year lease. I made the conclusion not to do that.”

READ MORE: Fort Langley developer Eric Woodward to hold public information session

Woodward decided to take a second look at the buildings about a month ago, after receiving criticism online for boarding them up.

“When the buildings started getting some plywood on them, people were suddenly pretending this was a surprise,” Woodward said.

“Two camps would either say, ‘Well, this is just a reaction or some sort of game that I am playing,’ and then of course other people — who we respect a bit more — would come to me and say, ‘Is it really this bad? Is there nothing you can do about this?’ So, I did have another look at it again.

“And he (the inspector) came through, had a look at them, and we just determined what we had determined before, that there’s no economic base to proceed. And he pointed out a couple of things he didn’t like in regards to the significant rat issues, and how easy it is for them to move in and out of these buildings. There’s really no way to prevent that, unlike a newer building which doesn’t have any rats at all because it’s much more difficult for them to move around.”

As a result, Woodward said the two buildings will remain boarded up.



miranda@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Droppings from rodents can be seen inside one of the boarded up buildings owned by Eric Woodward on Glover Road. Miranda Gathercole Langley Times

One of the boarded up buildings owned by Eric Woodward on Glover Road. Miranda Gathercole Langley Times

Just Posted

Freshet of 2018 evokes memories of the flood of 1948

And while the devastation of 70 years ago informs flood protection now, similar event not predicted

Chilliwack Chiefs prove doubters wrong with RBC Cup triumph

The Chiefs played with a chip on their shoulders, claiming their 1st-ever national junior A title.

Chilliwack Chiefs make history with first RBC Cup win

In front of a huge and noisy crowd, the Chiefs claimed their first-ever national junior A title.

Rising river prompts road closure in Chilliwack

Fraser expected to continue rise on Monday

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

UPDATE: Woman dies in ocean accident near Tofino hours before daughter’s wedding

“We are so thankful to everyone who helped our mom.”

Olympian sues USA Swimming, saying it failed to protect her

Ariana Kukors Smith alleges her former coach Sean Hutchison began grooming her for sexual abuse at the age of 13

Defence minister thanks troops for B.C. flood relief work

Harjit Sajjan says not only was military response quick, support from locals has been ‘tremendous’

Arrest made in last week’s double shooting in East Van

Carleton Stevens, 37, is charged with attempted murder and remains in custody

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

‘So grateful:’ Injured Bronco hockey player glad he’s alive, works on recovery

Ryan Straschnitzki was badly hurt in the accident: a spinal injury, broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and punctured lung

PHOTOS: Floodwaters rise and fall in Grand Forks

The flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region begins to heal

Martin Mars waterbombers’ firefighting days are done

Wayne Coulson said his company still hopes to find a new home for the vintage aircraft

Most Read