District could increase bylaw enforcement

Currently being done by the fire department

More enforcement of District of Houston’s bylaws could be in the offing.

And how that might be accomplished will come in the form of report to council, says District chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck.

“We are reviewing additional capacity for bylaw enforcement, and are assessing several options, including an in-house option and contracted out service,” said Pinchbeck last week.

“Further reporting on this item will be provided at a later time.”

The issue of bylaw enforcement arose at the May 21 council meeting when a resident expressed her concern that residents are not applying for building permits and, as a result, any improvements aren’t added to the assessed value of a property.

“She advised that conversations with BC Assessment confirmed that site visits are rare and that generally the value of the construction associated to the permit is forwarded by the municipality to BC Assessment and is immediately applied to the total assessed value of the property,” the May 21, 2019 meeting minutes indicate.

“The resident further expressed her displeasure with the process as residents that choose not to apply for a permit may not have the added value added to their assessment and, consequently, are not paying sufficient taxes which results in a revenue loss to the District,” the minutes continue.

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