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City giving homeowners one year grace to deal with expired building permits

The City of Revelstoke is taking a carrot and stick approach to expired building permits.

Dean Strachan, the manager of development services, told council that there are about 300 expired building permits on city files.

Rather than chase them all down, he devised a different approach — waive building permit renewal fees for the next year, but then increase fees for building permits that are not completed by May 1, 2015. The goal is to have applicants actively address outstanding issues, rather than have the city go after them.

According to a staff report prepared by Strachan, the city would earn about $25,000 in revenue if all 300 building permits were renewed. At the same time, the cost of taking enforcement action on all outstanding permits and putting a notice on the title for building deficiencies would cost the city about $2,000 each for a total of $600,000 — and it could take up to four years to complete.

"Having this option of having an expired permit holder come to us to get this issue resolved versus us having to chase them down seems much more efficient for staff and be a positive thing in the community," said Strachan. "If we address even 50 per cent, it would be a significant step for our records, for safety and liability issues."

The proposal was approved by council unanimously.

 

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