The City of Regina ordered that those behind the 27-storey Capital Pointe hotel-condo project to fill the giant hole that’s been dug at the corner of Victoria and Albert, but now the company wants the city to temporarily hold that order.
Westgate Properties asked the city for a stay in that order.
The Saskatchewan Building and Accessibility Standards Appeal Board heard arguments Wednesday afternoon via teleconference from both lawyers representing Westgate and the city.
Westgate lawyer Sahil Shoor argued the city didn’t have standing at the time to issue the order. He also suggested, despite what the city maintained, that the site was safe.
“The city has not produced any evidence to support the allegations which are made on a number of occasions to support its position,” he argued. “Therefore, the lack of evidence to support the city’s position on safety and on delay, I submit, is an issue the appeal board must not lose sight of.”
Shoor also argued Westgate would suffer irreparable harm if a stay was not granted. To date, Capital Pointe’s lawyers said $14 million has been spent on the project.
Lawyer Christine Clifford, representing the city, maintained there was and is an unsafe condition at the property and there is proof.
“There is, in fact, no better evidence of what is required for site safety than the evidence of the engineer of record,” she told the board.
Up until last week before removing itself from Capital Pointe, Isherwood Geostructural Engineers was the engineering firm on record for the project. In her submission, Clifford said Isherwood authored a report from November 2017 which instructed Westgate to make certain changes to the shoring and excavation work.
If those requirements weren’t met, the firm would order the site to be backfilled — for the hole to be filled.
“None of Isherwood’s requirements were met,” said Clifford.
She said Isherwood eventually instructed the excavation be decommissioned immediately.
The report also said Westgate had committed to restarting digging before April 30, 2018. However, Clifford said no permit for excavation has been received to date.
The city argued if a stay is granted, the city will lose the authority to do the work necessary to bring the site to a safe condition. Clifford argued the foundation of neighbouring buildings is exposed. She estimated it would take 17 weeks for the city to fill the hole.
The appeal board will now make a decision on the stay. The provincial government noted that the stay hearing is different from an appeal hearing.