Chateau Jubilee, Victoria, BC
To the owners at Chateau Jubilee, 1610 Jubilee Ave. (VIS 511)
A contract to begin the project cannot be signed until our money is collected. A simple refusal to pay will eventually result in punitive fines.
But many owners believe that the collection of the special levy and the project itself can and should be cancelled now.
The Covid-19 pandemic was not in anyone’s mind when the owners voted to approve the project at our contentious Feb 2020 AGM.
Nobody knows how profoundly this particular pandemic will affect our personal finances and the world’s economy over the coming months or even years. Pandemics generally appear in waves. What sort of world we’ll inhabit when and if life returns to “normal” and how long it will all take are questions even the experts still can’t answer.
We are now presented with a simple decision. Do we: (a) simply allow the project to go ahead or (b) hold onto our money until the ultimate realities of the pandemic have been reasonably assessed. This is no longer an issue of whether we want to renovate and beautify our building. It is about a global pandemic, present and future, filled with unexpected costs both financial and human.
On April 15 2020, our provincial government passed new legislation allowing strata councils to conduct AGMs and SGMs via telephone or video conferencing or other electronic means [ BC Strata Emergency Program Act // April 15 2020 ]. The need for this new legislation indicates we probably aren’t the only ones planning new renovations in the face of a deadly disease.
Developers are now rushing to collect deposits on possibly hundreds of BC projects before the provincial economy stumbles into the aftermath of the pandemic. They realize strata residents may wish to postpone or even forego costly investments, especially those considered non-essential.
And we, as owners, can hardly be blamed for re-visiting our own priorities given this evolving new economic reality. Perhaps costly non-essentials, like brand-new balconies with space-age enclosures, can wait. Remedial repairs of those few balconies that do require attention was the first and possibly the better option presented.
To date (04-22-20) we have collected a dozen signed forms from residents wishing to reconsider our planned new renovations. Our goal is 30 forms but the minimum required is just 14 or 20%. We are very close and gaining momentum. See my contact information below, thank you.
Just a closing thought. This is not a battle or a cause to point fingers or cast shadows. This is simply democracy at work. We very much appreciate our strata council. In fact, we doubt there is a more devoted group of hard-working volunteers anywhere on the island. And whatever we as a community ultimately decide, it will reflect the democratic principles and good nature I know we share and believe in.
We lose nothing by cancelling the planned renovations to Chateau Jubilee if we do it now. But imagine turning over your money only to discover work on the project is continually delayed due to persistent pandemic concerns, absentee workers, and a government putting safety first as they should and will.
We can always re-approve or even revise our new renovations once the pandemic is over. Merely postponing the actual construction is not enough. The levy and project should be cancelled outright if we are the ones to decide how our money is spent. Handing over many thousands of dollars now is gambling that things will return quickly to normal at this profoundly uncertain time.
We hope you returned to us the document we left at your door. This is a ponderous way of doing things, but the notice that Gibraltar posted recently around the building deems it necessary. Council has so far refused to consider any request to call an SGM (Special General Meeting), citing concerns over physical distancing.
However, council failed to suggest any alternatives, such as a mailed ballot. And Gibraltar refuses to accept e-mailed requests. This is not helpful. Council maintains they have no authority to call an SGM but then refuses to discuss what would grant them that authority. Again, not helpful.
What Can We Do?
Our first step is to establish how many Chateau Jubilee owners now feel these costly renovations should be reconsidered. Our second step is to simply inform Gibraltar and strata council members how we feel.
We recognize and appreciate the tremendous good work our devoted council members continue to do. We believe, however, all owners, including those on council, may at some point find themselves grateful to have spared their financial resources in light of an uncertain pandemic future.
June 22nd is not far away, the clock is ticking and legal and administrative matters often move painfully slow. Visit this page regularly for updates. This endeavour is sincerely intended to be in the best interest of all concerned, thank you.
#305 – 1610 Jubilee Ave.