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October 27, 2017 6:29 pm

Asking Forgiveness Rather than Permission

Thursday, March 16, 2017 @ 1:53 PM

Prince George, B.C.- An application  to double  the combined maximum floor area  for one or more  accessory buildings at Ness Lake has  returned to the Regional District of Fraser of Fort George.

When the  application  first appeared in January of  this year,  the  variance permit  ( for a building that has already been constructed) was denied.  Director Warren Wilson says while he  still has issues  with people asking for forgiveness rather than  permission  some new information  on this particular case  has come forward.  The property in question has challenging topography says Wilson, which means there are  issues with  available areas for buildings  and a septic system.

Rather than  take the matter to court,  all but one of the directors have voted  in favour of allowing the variance.  Chair  Art Kaehn was the lone dissenter,  saying he is concerned with  what is happening around Ness Lake,  and  would not support the variance.

Directors once again  called for more information to be made available to the public  about the building bylaws and the process  that must be followed  before any construction  starts.   Director Terry Burgess Said the building  “doesn’t hurt being there”  and rather than go to court to get an order to tear it down,  he  would support  granting the variance.


They should give the builders a helfty fine for not following the law, not a slap on the hands

All but one of the directors say okay, no problem. What does that say to everyone else building in the RD? Build it, don’t need variances, don’t need permits. Staff throws up their hands, say why do we have these regulations? In other words, who cares, go do your own thing.

    I am not sure why we have bylaws anyway right? Rules are made to be broken I guess. Seems to work, plus if you don’t get caught you save a lot of money on permits and doing it by the book

Ah, yes, we must follow all the rules laid down by these elected little tin Gods we overpay to assent to regulations they don’t even write. Ones that are the dictates from even more grossly overpaid, professional bureaucrats accountable to no one. Ones who’ve been told by others of their ilk at a higher level in the provincial government bureaucracy what must be.

It all sounds so innocent and sensible when it starts out. After all, we wouldn’t want anyone doing anything on THEIR OWN property, would we? People might get the impression we were still a free country. In ways that actually matter. No, we must have permits for everything, or soon will have to have. And then they turn into profit centres in their own right. Pretty soon the only ones who can afford to do anything are those with very deep pockets. And the cost of everything goes…., well, that’s just what we want, isn’t it?

So, break the law, and get permission afterwards? I think if you walk out of a store with stolen goods and get caught, you’re not given the option of paying for it and going home. You need a permit in a situation like this because what you do on your property at a lake can very well have an impact on surrounding properties, or animal habitat, especially when the above noted article mentions the size/square footage of what is being built exceeding limits. Regardless, there are rules, and they should be enforced, not waived because it costs money to penalize.

    I think the ruling means that if I have a place on Ness Lake with “challenging topography” I can do whatever I like because, as Mr. Burgess alludes to, it is too onerous to go to court and get an order to tear it down. Yipppee, I have always wanted an outhouse on the beach (my only flat area)!!! Just kidding, but you see what I mean? It certainly means that the board members have no intention of supporting the bylaws they are hired to promote and protect if it means work on their part. I wonder if Mr. Burgess knows the owner of the property as he seems to feel strongly that the building “doesn’t hurt being there”. I wonder if that is the sentiment of everyone on the lake or if he even went and had a look at the building in question?
    And shame on you Mr. Wilson for giving land owners a reason to break bylaws. Bylaws are made for all to adhere to and if you own property with “challenging topography”, as Dr Phil would say about buying it in the first place “what were you thinking?” You should know the rules before you buy or build.
    But then again, forgiveness is easier and cheaper than permission!

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