NANAIMO — An “unfortunate miscommunication” regarding building permits is forcing Nanaimo City Hall to close its doors permanently, effective this Friday, said city CAO Jake Rudolph.

The closure affects both the main building and the three-storey annex on Dunsmuir Street.

“Honestly, nobody thought that we needed our own building permit to build City Hall,” said Rudolph. “We kind of thought our own building was exempted.”

Dale Lindsay, Nanaimo’s director of community development, said the City received a complaint about the properties. “We have no choice but follow up on complaints and make sure local structures have the proper permits and meet safety standards,” said Lindsay. “Including, apparently, our own.”

But City Hall will have a temporary home, thanks to the generosity of Tanya and Doug Hiltz, operators of community soup kitchen Stone Soup. “The City made us take down our outdoor eating area, so we’ve got lots of room here.”

City staff are also considering moving operations into the basement of the Queen’s Hotel, where former councillors Jerry Hong and Gord Fuller continue to meet, even though they were defeated in the recent municipal election.