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Students' concerns heard, visitor restriction extended for tenants on St. Paddy's

Last Updated Mar 15, 2018 at 6:08 pm EDT

(570 NEWS - Leah Johansen)

There’s good news for frustrated students living in residences near Ezra Avenue – as it seems they’ll be able to have guests over for St. Patrick’s Day after all.

Waterloo officials have already stated they’re fed-up with the massive unsanctioned street party on Ezra, and are increasing the police presence to make sure partygoers are obeying the law.

The axed street party was already a tough pill to swallow for many students, but Paris Kiani says it only got worse when she heard about potential guest restrictions at her residence.

“I received an e-mail from my building on March 7 informing us that there will be a limit of 1 guest per person, and a total of up to 35 guests in each MARQ building for St. Patrick’s Day. There have been restrictions in the past – like two guests per person – but I’ve never heard of only allowing 35 guests for a building with 205 tenants.”

Kiani is a fourth-year student at Wilfrid Laurier University, and says she started a petition to get her voice heard.

“When I spoke to the General Managers downstairs, they told me nothing could be done as the policy is already in place. The main thing I’m hoping to achieve with this petition is for them to remove this policy, and to give all the tenants in the building the right that they deserve – of bringing guests in and out of the building.”

Kiani adds she’s been on Ezra Avenue for St. Patrick’s Day the past four years, and will admit it’s been very hectic.

“So I do understand why a guest policy is in place, but to completely remove that right from students altogether and breach their lease is completely illegal – they can’t do that.”

As of Thursday, Kiani’s petition has over 800 signatures – and it seems that effort has already paid off.

In a statement to 570 NEWS, the President of Centurion Asset Management Inc. confirms they have now extended their visitor restriction to a “one guest per person” policy for St. Patrick’s Day 2018.

You can read the full statement below.

The City is actively discouraging St. Patrick’s Day gatherings and has recently amended by-laws to allow the police to breakup large gatherings and force organizers of those gatherings to keep the crowd under control, and to bill them for cleanup costs. The MARQ Waterloo was approached and has been in communication with the Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS), the City of Waterloo, and Emergency Services over the last month in preparation of the upcoming St. Patrick’s day events.

As a fixed community located on Ezra Street, we were asked by the WRPS, who acted on behalf of all City stakeholders, to modify our traditional annual approach to support the formal safety planning in preparation of the anticipated 20 to 25 thousand attendees this year.

In addition, we were asked to sign a trespass authority form for properties in the event police are required to cross the boundary line and/or common area of property (see attached form).

The fire code requires that the number of people in any area be limited to a size that on-site staff can effectively assist, and that building exits can safely accommodate, in case of emergency. This is particularly important given the potential disruption of emergency services that may be encountered in the vicinity during St. Patrick’s Day.

We have participated in many successful St. Patrick Day events in the past in partnership with the City of Waterloo and the associated police department, and only adjusted our visitor policy in response to demands by the City and Police Department.

Some residents shared their concerns about their personal safety if the building becomes overcrowded. The MARQ implemented a new visitor policy last week, to comply with the City, police and fire department requirements which limits passes to an additional 35 visitors per property. After reviewing recent resident feedback, consulting with other property managers, and further consultation with the Waterloo Fire Department, we have now extended this to “one visitor per person” policy for St. Patrick’s Day 2018.

As landlords, it is our primary responsibility to protect our residents’ life safety and put measures and resources in place to ensure this. We are doing what is required to comply with the demands of the City, Fire and Police Departments and additionally taking responsibility for the life safety of our residents should the building become overcrowded.

Greg Romundt
President
Centurion Asset Management Inc.