The audacity of the Sahota family is breathtaking. Its patriarchs are notorious slum landlords, who wanted to branch out and run a cannabis shop in the heart of Vancouver’s west side.

Their licence application was rejected Wednesday as the board of variance refused to bend on the prohibition on pot shops within 300 metres of schools.

The proposed Herban Legends was 260 metres away from one of the city’s most prestigious private kindergartens, York House Little School.

You can’t blame the Sahotas for trying.

If they’ve come to believe that they are above the law, it’s because the city and provincial governments have been complicit.

On their way to building up a $130-million real-estate portfolio that consists of four, single-room-occupancy hotels, the Sahotas have pretty much done whatever they liked and suffered no real consequences for decades.

If we can thank them for anything, it’s that the Sahotas’ actions have pretty consistently highlighted — depending on your perspective — either the city’s impotence to enforce the laws or its unwillingness to do so.

In June, the city finally evacuated residents from the Sahota-owned Balmoral Hotel because not only were the conditions unthinkably bad, the 105-year-old building was structurally unsound. At that point, the landlords had citations for 183 outstanding building deficiencies and 150 violations.

There’s also a class-action suit in the B.C. Court of Appeal that involves another Sahota-owned building, the Regent Hotel.

When it comes to slum landlords, the city says it lacks the enforcement tools it needs. The province, so far, hasn’t been willing to give municipalities those powers.

And then, there’s cannabis.

For two decades, Vancouver politicians didn’t do anything about a proliferation of pot shops. Vancouver police targeted street sellers and traffickers, but left the shops alone even though the marijuana, various extracted oils and edibles on sale came from illegal grow-ops.

The Sahotas incorporated Sunshine Coast Cannabis …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun – Politics

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