I am writing in response to the recent article “The challenge of East Clayton.”
I believe the current council is negligent by abdicating its responsibility to enforce the bylaws approved by the democratic process.
According to the City of Surrey’s own website, under bylaws-policies-licences, secondary suite conditions include a limit of one secondary suite per property, a prohibition on secondary suites on properties with a coach house, a prohibition on secondary suites in semi-detached or duplex buildings, and a requirement to provide one additional off-street parking space.
In my neighbourhood there is a house that puts out four full-sized garbage cans and four recycling tubs, and has two barbecues on the front porch and one in the backyard. It wouldn’t take too much sleuthing to figure there are at least three separate suites in this location.
Another issue is the neighbourhood is the requirement for condos to provide one parking spot per suite, but the strata then charges a monthly rent for additional vacant spots. Many condo residents then park their additional vehicles in our high-density neighbourhood. Compounded with the issue of more suites and more cars, there is nowhere left to park for blocks. Try having a few friends in for dinner.
It is time for Surrey council to take an active role by instructing staff to follow through on bylaws, expediently and thoroughly. Follow Delta’s lead and start imposing significant fines. These landlords are making money hand over fist and hitting them in the wallet is the only way to deter our “example of a visionary community” from becoming a rental slum.