Surrey city council has directed city staff to look at “enhanced enforcement, prosecution and public awareness” to tackle illegal and unauthorized construction here, with an eye to “mitigate loss of life, destruction of property” and ensure compliance with bylaws.
Coun. Jack Hundial presented his notice of motion in July aimed at curbing illegal and unauthorized construction in Surrey, which he says “presents real dangers to life.” Council approved it on Monday night.
“I know we have all been inundated with emails from people’s concerns about illegal construction,” he told council. He also called on staff to look into how other cities are dealing with this.
Coun. Brenda Locke said she’s “really glad” to see this motion come forward. “I’ve had many, many complaints come to me; I’ve gone out to many sites where they have stop work orders that are being ignored,” she said. “That’s pretty disappointing to see people ignoring our processes.”
Coun. Doug Elford said he hopes staff will look at increasing fines. “To me, I think the fining structure in many of our bylaws we should be looking at going up.”
Coun. Mandeep Nagra agreed that stop work orders “are getting ignored all the time, just people rip them up and throw them away. I get a number of phone calls on a daily basis of illegal construction and unauthorized additions and all that.”
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