This letter was posted on two buildings in Fort Langley last week. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

Demolition suggestion outside role of inspector: Fraser Health

Letters on Fort Langley buildings say they are rat and vermin infested.

Signs posted on two Fort Langley buildings by the owner describe them as “filthy, unsightly and predominantly dilapidated.”

Eric Woodward posted blown-up versions of a letter by Fraser Health Authority public health inspector Bob Boyd last week.

The signs, at 9213 and 9152 Glover Road, describe the boarded-up buildings as infested with rats and vermin, and potentially fire hazards.

“Demolition is the logical solution,” says the letter.

“I think it was important for the public to see the assessment from a health inspector of 30 years experience,” said Woodward, who requested the inspection of the buildings.

He acknowledged that Boyd is not a firefighter or building inspector, but said he is a health and safety professional.

Woodward has been locked in a stalemate in a dispute with Langley Township. Both buildings with the letters, and a few other vacant homes and shops, were boarded up earlier this year by Woodward. He had plans to redevelop three sites in the Fort, but has abandoned his development permits, citing Township planning staff intransigence.

READ MORE: Council, landowner still not talking over vacant Fort buildings

Woodward said that despite posting the letters publicly, he expects them to have no impact on Township officials.

A Fraser Health spokesperson said the letters go beyond the purview of a health inspector.

“The opinion shared by the public health inspector regarding a fire hazard and demolition is beyond the role for their practice and area of responsibility,” said the statement. “With regard to the habitability of the buildings, the landowner may choose to seek advice from appropriate professionals, such as the municipality, the fire department and/or pest control.”

Meanwhile, the Township won’t require demolition of a building unless it poses a risk to the public, said Robert Cesaretti, manager of permit, license and inspection services.

An abandoned property bylaw requires owners to secure their properties, and the boarded-up Fort buildings are in compliance with those rules, Cesaretti said.

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