The City of Langford, along with well-armed RCMP officers, recently executed a court-granted warrant to inspect the contentious property – allegedly being used as a clubhouse for a biker gang – on Spencer Road.
Lorne Fletcher, manager of community safety and municipal enforcement, said the warrant was obtained through provincial court to inspect the property because earlier attempts to do so were unsuccessful.
“We attempted to inspect the property on May 1, with the cooperation with the property owner,” Fletcher said.
The City had permission from the owner to attend that day, Fletcher said, and the tenants had been notified it was to happen, “but when we attended the property, we were turned away at the gate,” so they pursued the issue through the courts.
Once the warrant was obtained, City staff attended the property alongside numerous RCMP officers.
“We found some confirmation of changes that had been made without permit,” including electrical and structural adjustments that should have been approved by the City before they happened and inspected by the City after completion, Fletcher said.
The repercussions for such changes without permit is usually fining those who had them done, Fletcher said, but he’s unsure what will happen in this particular case.
“We’re looking more for voluntary compliance to ensure public safety,” he said, “not to fine people.”
Const. Alex Bérubé, spokesperson for the Westshore RCMP, who also attended the execution of the warrant, said it was executed without incident.
“Based on a risk assessment and out of an abundance of precaution,” Bérubé said, “we attended with armed officers to provide a safe environment while the bylaw officers executed their duties. As a result, everything went smoothly.”