British Columbia

Sahota family pleads guilty, agrees to $150K fine over bylaw violations in 2 hotels

Vancouver's Sahota family has pleaded guilty to the majority of bylaw charges related to the neglect of two slum-like hotels in the Downtown Eastside.

City of Vancouver is still seeking to expropriate Regent and Balmoral hotels

Vancouver is still seeking the expropriation of the Balmoral and Regent hotels. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Vancouver's Sahota family has pleaded guilty to a majority of bylaw charges related to the neglect of two slum-like hotels it owns in the Downtown Eastside.

The Sahotas agreed to pay a $150,000 fine and donate a total of $25,000 to local charities in exchange for pleading guilty on Nov. 26, 2018, according to the city.

"After decades of under-investment and mismanagement by the owners of the Balmoral and Regent Hotels, the outstanding bylaw violations have been addressed through the legal process," a city spokesperson wrote in an email.

"The legal avenues that were available to the city prosecutor were limited and we recognize that the value of the resolution does not reflect the historic harm done to the Downtown Eastside community through the unsafe conditions of these two buildings."

The city did not publicize the plea deal when it happened last fall. It was only revealed through reporting by The Globe and Mail.

The charitable donations include $20,000 to Union Gospel Mission and $5,000 to EMBERS Eastside Works.

The Sahotas were facing dozens of charges because of safety risks due to poor maintenance at the Regent and Balmoral hotels. The siblings — Parkash, Pal and Gurdyal — have operated a number of shabby single room occupancy (SRO) buildings in the Downtown Eastside for more than three decades.

Both the Regent and the Balmoral were closed down after the city declared them unsafe.

The city has filed notices of expropriation for both buildings, seeking to take control of them. The guilty pleas will not affect that process, which is still ongoing.

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