(Tim Fitzgerald/THE NEWS) Shelly Balson of Maple Ridge shows the letter issued on Thursday Oct. 12 stating all decorations need to be removed by Monday, Oct. 16 at 9 a.m. or they would be removed by the landlord.

Halloween decorations allowed to stay in Maple Ridge

Management company reverses earlier decision to have decorations removed

A group of Maple Ridge residents living at Brookside Gardens on Dewdney Truck Road will be allowed to keep their Halloween decorations.

The residents living in the 208 block of Dewdney Trunk Road were given a letter dated October 12 by Capreit Real Estate, the company that owns the apartment complex, stating all decorations had to be removed by Monday, Oct. 16 at 9 a.m. or they will be removed and disposed of by the landlord.

Shelly Balson, a resident of Brookside Gardens for the past seven years, said residents were just informed by letter that they will be able to keep their decorations up after all. She said the letter Capreit sent stated the original intent was a safety concern, however after numerous complaints they have decided to reverse their decision.

“This whole ordeal was stupid,” said Balson. “This was about having an event for kids to have a good time.”

The original letter explains that the exterior of all the units are considered common areas and can’t be decorated. Capreit is one of Canada’s largest residential landlords, owning interests in 49,073 residential units, comprised of 42,622 residential suites and 31 manufactured home communities with 6,451 land lease sites in and around major urban centres across Canada and The Netherlands. The company took over the complex in earlier in the summer.

Balson said she and many of her neighbours look forward to Halloween, giving them a chance to attract friends and family to the complex.

“This is ridiculous,” said an agitated Balson. “Come on, this is for the kids. The whole complex gets behind it. It’s so much fun to see all the children dressed up, trick-or-treating. I don’t understand what’s the point.”

Balson said she takes great pride in decorating her apartment at Halloween, spending hours getting it ready. She also said she and a number of residents goes all out during Christmas as well. She said she’s called Capreit repeatedly looking for an explanation behind the decision and has not heard back.

”We’re a community here. It’s bring neighbours together.”

Gale Nadon, whose son lives in Brookside Gardens, said she brings her grandchildren from New Westminster just to trick-or-treat at the complex. The idea that resident’s can’t put up displays is disheartening.

“I think their wrong. It’s a family-oriented place. The older people love to see it, they love to see the kids, and that’s what keeps them going.”

A call to Capreit’s office in Vancouver was directed to chairman Mike Stein, located in Toronto. There has been no response as of yet.

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