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"Three sets of eyes" to avoid future setback errors in building permits
by Andrew Bennett on 11 Sep 2012
The garage on 1958 Second Ave. is in compliance with the city's zoning bylaws at last, with council's third reading of bylaw 2537 on Sept. 4 to sell a thin strip of Second Ave. to owner Matt Titheridge.
Nobody spoke at the public hearing for the bylaw, and it will likely be adopted at the next council meeting on Sept. 17.
Two years ago, Titheridge received approval from the building inspector at that time, Jason Ward, to remove a crumbling retaining wall on Second Ave. and replace it with a garage wall. The design was perceived as win-win—the retaining wall was posing a public hazard and the new face of the garage was further back from the road than the original retaining wall.
Unfortunately, however, the decision was legally a "mistake," as council debated at the council meeting on Aug. 13. Bylaw 2537 was conceived as a solution to the error.
"We understand that this is not the property owner's fault at all—there was a staff error involved in this," said Coun. Kathy Moore.
She asked city planner Mike Maturo, "One of the things that Coun. [Cary] Fisher brought up [last meeting] is, what steps can be taken to ensure that this kind of thing won't happen? Are there any checks and balances that have been put in place to prevent this from happening?"
Maturo said, "All plans are reviewed by the planning department prior to the building permits being issued. That remedies this. We have three sets of eyes looking for setback compliance and other issues. That's been instituted for a while—the error was that it didn't happen."
There was no further discussion at the Sept. 4 meeting and third reading passed unanimously.
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