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LETTER: Does City Hall favour Red over residents?

Dear editor,

 

A double standard is alive and well at Rossland City Hall.Homeowners in Rossland are required to get all necessary permits and meet all requirements before they can do even small renovations to their homes.

Red Mountain Ventures (RMV) on the other hand seems to have no such requirement.  A cabin has been built near the Red Mountain Lodge without a Development Permit (DP), without a Building Permit and on land that has a no-build covenant registered on the property.  This is not the first time RMV  has constructed a building without the required permits.
 

The response from staff, when asked why this latest construction was allowed to happen, was laughable.  Quote: “The show home on display at the upper level parking lot is neither fixed into the ground nor serviced.”  Unless the cabin is levitating microns above ground level, it sure looks firmly fixed to me.  The lights in use in the building suggest servicing from underground wiring not kerosene lamps.  Maybe it’s the wires that hold the building in place.

The response also states that no DP is required.  The Local Government Act says that when a Development Permit Area has been designated, a DP is required before construction of a building or structure is started.   There are no exceptions. So how did this cabin materialize if it wasn’t constructed?

Development Permits are issued for specific projects and those projects must be completed strictly in accordance with the permit.  That means, if a DP is issued for a bare land strata development, construction of a trail on adjacent property is not covered by the permit.  Nor does a DP for ski run clearing in one area allow a yurt to be erected on a nearby mountain.

There seems to be a sense of entitlement at the base of Red Mountain - go ahead and do what you want because Council appears to be willing to accept anything with a wink and a nod irrespective of the requirement for proper authorization.

Besides ignoring these contraventions of the bylaws of the City, Council has provided tax relief and has undertaken activities that effectively amount to subsidies for developers.  The average homeowner doesn’t get breaks like this. They’re expected to toe the line and pay the bills.  I wonder why those at City Hall are so willing to ignore violations of relevant  legislation by developers while insisting on strict adherence to those same regulations by homeowners? 

Laurie Charlton

Rossland