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Coulter Berry construction to resume

Work on the interrupted Coulter Berry building in Fort Langley was to resume on Wednesday.

“We begin again right where we left off: drilling the geothermal wells under the parkade, while completing the bulk excavation and shoring of the southern wall, all to prepare for the start of permanent works for the foundation,” said an online message posted by developer Eric Woodward.

The excavated site became known as the “heritage hole” after a lawsuit by opponents of the three-storey building halted work last year.

A judge ruled the building was improperly approved by a variance allowing it to exceed size limits for the area, saying a rezoning was required.

After a public hearing that lasted three days, Woodward obtained rezoning approval for a modified, slightly smaller version of the building.

Despite a reported threat of a new lawsuit to block the project, “we have no choice but to proceed,” Woodward said, because the temporary shoring that holds up the sides of the excavation site “are only designed to last for a short time while permanent foundation walls are constructed [and] will eventually collapse.”

He said the geothermal drilling is expected to take about five weeks .

“It really is time for the Coulter Berry saga to end, and to look to the future. So, I will try to end it, one way or the other, by trying to build it. Again. Starting tomorrow,” his message, posted on Tuesday, said.

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