from The Province today:
Langley considers regulating suites a “health and safety issue”. Recent comments at a CNV Council meeting authorizing suites in duplexes:
Bookham urged council to agree to an amendment that would end the moratorium on enforcement and direct staff to begin inspecting the known illegal suites for minimum life and safety standards.
“If they are not inspected, people can be living in situations where electrical fires can happen, where sewage can back up, where mould can grow, where there’s little light, simply because they are poor,” she said.
But the mayor defended the existing practice of enforcing bylaws on a complaint basis, citing the gargantuan task of sending staff to inspect every secondary suite in the city.
“We don’t need suite police in the City of North Vancouver,” Darrell Mussatto said. “I think 90 per cent of the suites in single-family homes have not been inspected. If we’re going to start somewhere, I think we should start there and then we would open the flood gates to huge challenges for housing in our city, and I don’t think that’s the way we need to go.”
Councillor Bookham’s amendment motion (supported by Councillors Bell and Heywood) failed to pass – how much revenue is the City missing, in addition to the health and safety issue?
The township has approved the suites since 2007, but had never charged fees until now. It plans to monitor secondary suites to ensure compliance: investigating complaints, reviewing MLS listings and performing site inspections. Anyone found with an unregistered suite could be fined up to $500 per day until they register.
“The big thing is, it’s a health and safety issue,” said Roberto Cesaretti, manager of permits.
Cesaretti said the township expects to collect about $200,000 from the fees, rising to $400,000 in 2014 and $700,000 in 2015. Secondary suites continue to grow in popularity in other municipalities, as well: