Development Variances an Issue for Regional District
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.”