The owner of Motel Bollywood on King George Boulevard is appealing city council's order to tear down his building, despite recent incidents of vandalism, break-ins and a suspicious fire.
Mayor Dianne Watts and councillors recently approved recommendations from the city's Legal Services Division and Surrey Fire Service to impose a remedial action requirement to remove the motel from the property. The corporate report noted that the owner, Gurbakksh Khatkar, had seven days from the receipt of the teardown notice to comply, though Khatkar is asking council to reconsider its decision.
"The other alternative is that the motel be properly secured so people can't break in," said City Solicitor Craig MacFarlane, who noted the site has had issues with burglary in the last few months. "It's a hazardous building. It's not safe to be occupied."
The corporate report documented numerous fire safety infractions between 2006 and 2012, such as missing or non-functioning smoke alarms and emergency exit signs, missing covers for electrical circuits and missing railings on an upper floor balcony.
In September, the city cancelled Motel Bollywood's business licence, giving Khatkar 30 days to shut down all operations. The building was boarded up in January, though routine inspections found a number of subsequent break-ins, and the plywood covering the doors and windows quickly became a target for graffiti.
Then, on Jan. 19 of this year, a fire, believed by Surrey Fire Services to have been deliberately set, compromised the structural integrity of the motel.
Despite the worn condition of the motel, Khatkar told the Now he hopes to sell the property with the building onsite. His appeal is scheduled to go before council on Wednesday, March 20, at 10 a.m.
"We'll hear what the owner plans on doing," said MacFarlane. "It'll be up to council to decide."