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Several thousand delinquent building permits to be dropped off the record

By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily

The regional district will be wiping the slate clean of 2,222 delinquent building permits that are older than six years, a move which could catch many property owners by surprise.

With personnel resources in the Building Department of the Regional District of Central Kootenay not equal to the task of investigating the mountain of outstanding permits, the board of directors elected to instead dissolve them.

All incomplete building permits taken out prior to 2005 will be deemed lapsed, said RDCK chief administrative officer Jim Gustafson.

A letter will be sent out to notify people that there is nothing registered on title for their property.

“This may come as a surprise because a (lapsed) house may have sold once or twice in that time … from whenever the original building permit was taken out,” Gustafson said.

The 2,222 incomplete building permits constitute contraventions of the building bylaw because the owners failed to call for inspections required under bylaw.

But the process of arranging and conducting a hearing under Section 57 of the Community Charter for all of the permits before Jan. 1, 2005 would place an unreasonable burden on the regional district staff, it was deemed, and its electoral area services committee.

“The board considered it uneconomic to take enforcement action against the owners of the properties for which these permits were issued or to inspect the buildings and structures for possible contraventions of the BC Building Code and other regulations,” said Gustafson.

The regional district will notify property owners with a letter saying they no longer have intentions to pursue completion of that building permit. This may necessitate a response back from people as to why, Gustafson said.

But the designation doesn’t affect building insurance and there is no legal building ramification to it, he said.

However, should building inspection personnel become aware of a serious hazard associated with a lapsed permit, action will be taken to register a notice on the property title under Section 57 of the Community Charter and take action against the owner to have the hazard remedied.

Permits issued after Jan. 1, 2005 that have expired will be investigated for appropriate action starting with the most recently expired and working backwards.

Lapsed permits can still be renewed by the property owner in accordance with the time limits and fee requirements of Section 13.5 of the Building Bylaw in the RDCK.