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October 27, 2017 6:44 pm

Development Variances an Issue for Regional District

Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 5:50 AM

Prince George, B.C. –  The Regional District of Fraser Fort George has  denied  yet another  development variance  request, and it is  an issue that  has Director Warren Wilson concerned.

The matter  was before the Regional District  at its most recent  Board meeting. “This is like a case of  where people think its easier to ask for forgiveness rather than  go through  the proper process” said Wilson.

The issue  at hand  was a  request to  triple the  maximum allowable floor space of one or more accessory buildings on a property.

The request was denied,  as was a similar request  from another property owner  put before the Regional District  in  January.

Wilson  says more  needs to be done  to  avoid this kind of  issue  “We talked about this last month ,  there has to be a better  way of dealing  with this,  I’m hoping we can come up with some sort of solution to deal with these problems because they do seem to be coming up on a regular basis.”  Wilson wants a consistent  method of dealing with the  issue.

Fellow Director, Bill  Empy   concurs with Wilson’s stand “These types of situations are occurring far too often ”   He wants to  see the Regional District do more to  inform the public  “We have these bylaws in place, we have regulations and policies,  they have to be  followed because what’s a happening is people are throwing these structures up  and then  hoping they will get approved even though they don’t conform to what our building  bylaws and our land use regulations. We can’t just  allow people to put structures up, or make changes to the property without  proper permitting and requirements being followed.”

As a first step, the Regional District included the  issue as  one of the highlights of the most recent Board meeting.  Those highlights are circulated to all  media in the Regional District with the hopes the message will  be shared.   The  Regional District is calling on all builders to “call before you build” reminding builders the time to apply for variance and development permits is before construction begins. The  message  is  clear there are land use and building regulations  that must be adhered to  “The  Zoning establishes standards for development and building inspections ensures the health, safety and protection of persons and property by confirming that buildings and their systems generally conform to relevant bylaws, the BC Building Code and other applicable standards.”




“We can’t just allow people to put structures up, or make changes to the property without proper permitting and requirements being followed.”
Because WE are the Regional District. And there, but for the grace of God, goes God.

Really simple to see who has ok’d most of the variances in the past. How many are from the city?

Best way to solve the problem is for the Regional District to go out of its way to ensure that the proper permits are issued in a timely fashion and as cheaply as possible.

To begin the new mindset the Region should remember that they work for the taxpayers, and are there to ensure that the taxpayers needs are met. If we are going to have permitting as a part of job security and a way to generate revenue, then we will continue to have problems.

Just try to get the building permit people to answer questions you may have regarding what you want to build, and experience frustration.
If what you want to do does not fit into their narrow view of the regulations, be prepared for no answer at all.

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