Uplands homeowner given stop-work order for deck railing

Oak Bay resident in dispute after replacing rotten materials

Raj Sahota’s new deck railing earned two visits from the Oak Bay bylaw officer, a stop-work order and a follow-up, for repairing the home without a permit. (Courtesy Raj Sahota)

The owner of a home on Norfolk Road in Uplands is surprised he was given a stop-work order from Oak Bay bylaw for repairing the deck.

Raj Sahota, Oak Bay resident, said he ripped out the damaged sunroof and railing on his deck where it was rotten on March 20.

“The sunroof began leaking profusely when raining,” Sahota wrote in a letter to the bylaw officer. “The carpet that was laid down on top of the decking smelled bad and the room itself smelled bad. I pulled back the carpet and some of the panels and discovered mould and water damage.”

Sahota said he bought the home with his wife in 2017. They have children aged four and seven, hence the urgency to re-install a railing for safety purposes, he said.

While replacing the deck railing in early April he was delivered two notices to stop work from the Oak Bay bylaw and building inspection department.

Oak Bay staff can not comment on individual cases. However, unresolved cases have advanced to council as recently as 2019 to evoke Section 57 of the community charter. In those cases, Oak Bay has registered the property’s infringement with B.C. Land Title that it does not comply with two Oak Bay building and zoning bylaws. It is also a first step should the municipality wish to pursue legal action.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay to permit recreation vehicles in driveways during COVID-19

In this case, Sahota said he was ticketed first was for bylaw 4247, 5-1, which states there can be no construction of any type on a building, including repair, without a permit. That was followed by the second infringement (4247, 5-5) for continuing to work despite being delivered a stop-work order.

There are some exemptions to permits in Oak Bay, such as the construction of out-buildings smaller than 100 square feet or projects valued at less than $500.

Sahota has disputed both bylaw notices and is hoping to delay any resolution until the COVID-19 crisis passes.

“If it is determined that the railing must be removed, we will remove it and install a temporary solution or fix once the COVID-19 crisis passes and an opportunity exists to obtain necessary materials,” Sahota said.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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