Coun. Linda Hepner says she has only heard of two homeowners that have “misinterpreted” the bylaw restricting building size in St. Helen’s Park. The problem is that the city will do nothing to reverse the “misinterpretation,” while those citizens living next to it have their lives adversely affected.
Why is it that only Couns. Judy Villeneuve and Bob Bose understand that the people that plan these homes know they can build well beyond what the bylaws allow without the threat of any action from the city? How is it that this group of people get to ignore, then benefit, from this “misinterpretation” as they pay lower taxes because the city does not collect taxes for these expanded homes? Homeowners do not pay for inspections to assure a safe building, the workers hired to do these expansions may not be paid “above the table” for doing illegal construction, and then many of these areas are then rented without paying the required fees to the city.
In the end, what happens to the neighbourhood? These new “neighbours” have alienated the people they live beside and created a great deal of anger at the lack of action taken by the city.
The South Westminster Ratepayers’ Association has worked hard to try to maintain a pleasant place to live, only to have Linda Hepner and the rest of the councillors turn a blind eye to this ongoing issue. If the bylaw has no fault, why did they put a freeze on covered deck construction? The city well knows that follow-up on these issues usually means no action will be taken. At least it does in my neighbourhood.
Jill Singel, Surrey