Waterfront permit issue makes waves

Councillors take issue with lack of building permit for Mariners' Village.

  • Jun. 15, 2011 5:00 a.m.

The fact that construction is going ahead on a portion of the Mariner’s Village development without all of the appropriate building permits in place has been a source of dissension on the district council.

Councillor Herb Haldane has raised the issue with the media, citing a lack of information on the matter from district staff.

“It’s about three or four weeks ago,” said Haldane on June 13. “I asked, ‘What’s the deal here? What’s going on?’

I got nowhere with that.”

Haldane and his colleague on council, Bev Berger feel smaller construction projects would not necessarily get the same sort of allowance.

“I believe something has to be done, or they have to draw up a policy that allows somebody who’s in a similar situation to be able to do this.”

Permits for a block of condos had apparently been obtained, but not for townhouses which have since started to take shape.

Developer Mike Barrie heads the Mariner’s Village project and was unavailable for comment.

A statement on the matter by District Engineer and Approving Officer Elisabeth was supplied by the District of Sooke to media outlets including the Sooke News Mirror.

“The building permit for the townhouses was approved pending registration of the subdivision,” informed Nelson.

“It could have been issued at the time on the original property, however, through internal procedural policy, staff decided to hold  the permit until the land registration was completed. The subdivision plan was approved by the District of Sooke Approving Officer on April 18, 2011 and it was subsequently submitted to the Land Title Office for registration, registration particulars are expected at any time.”

Haldane pointed to another source of concern on this topic.

“The hotel (Prestige) was at the third floor before they had a building permit.”

Reacting to the matter, Mayor Janet Evans weighed in with press release which stated in part:

“It is standard practice for any municipality across Canada to exercise judgement when issuing building permits. For complex reasons, it is common for an applicant to commence work without a building permit in place. In the case of Mariners, the BP was approved but not issued pending all paper work being complete (subdivision registration/legal signatures w/ LTO, etc).

“If the project were shut down and litigation followed,” the release continued, “the taxpayer is protected because Mariners assumed all risk by proceeding without a BP.

“Given the same circumstances, this would be made available to any applicant….big or small.”

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