Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor

Until I read a couple of letter to the Editor about the new Regional District building by-law I was not concerned. Then at the suggestion of a writer I read the by-law in its entirety. What a piece of ****, the by-law is totally draconian that leaves the property owner at the mercy of the building inspector. We all know what happened when we had the new generation of ‘Health Inspectors’ interpreting the Health Act, common sense went out the window and now there is very few things that we can enjoy at fairs, fund raiser or social gatherings. All I say is don’t get on the wrong side of an inspector or it will cost you plenty (up to $10,000 per day for each and every day that you are not in compliance). Hello Vancouver, because that is where this is heading.

We live in a society where laws reflect the general wishes of the population. Laws will differ from one country to the next, and will differ from one area within a country to adjoining area within the same country. We as a population should be able to decide with what set of laws we feel we are to be governed with, be it social or criminal. We do so by pressuring our elected officials whom enact such laws.

In a recent presentation made by PRRD director Karen Goodings, she stated the reason for the bylaw was that people were trying to purchase rural property and the Banks and Insurance companies were having issues because there was no building permit for the original construction. Are laws being enacted because of pressure from corporate policy (the banks) or from reasonable social cause from the wishes of the people? My question, Is there anybody in the rural area that cannot get insurance except for the flood zone of south Taylor?

Now there is a saying about the slow march of progress, but there is also the fact that governments also tend to gather and propagate laws that increase their power over the people. Both reflect the same thing. The Regional District offer the rural land owners a carrot in that farm buildings are exempt, but mark my words, this will be revoked after a period of time to allow the citizens to adjust to the new reality of government intrusion into our lives. Don’t even think that you can protect yourself with a no trespassing sign as this by-law exempts regional district staff from this most basic rule of law. And failure to do anything and everything that the regional district decides they want you to do will cost (see penalties above) and they can demand an Architect, Engineers for structural, plumbing and electrical and geotechnical drilling and reports. When you factor in these costs as well as delays and the restrictions in who may do the work, the costs of any new project just escalated by ten to twenty percent. Are you will to pay this additional money just because our elected officials decided to give themselves more power and control over our lives?

Now let us have a go at any renovations to any structure if the cost is over $2,500 and any and all renovations to your house, yup, you need a permit. Now as soon as you alter a building you need to bring the structure up to code, be it electrical, plumbing or construction. So my advice is don’t bother putting in new flooring or cupboards or heaven forbid a new bathroom. And here is the kicker, no matter what a building inspector forces you to do; they will not stand behind any and all decisions made by that inspector in case of a failure because of that decision.

Now the PRRD has 12 directors of which only 4 representatives are responsible for the rural area that this by-law impacts. I was informed by one of the appointed municipal directors that they deferred to the rural directors on this by-law. Again, I submit, the population affected by this by-law does not want it or need it and everybody would understand once they read the by-law. This has to change – rescind the by-law.

Dean Anderson