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Letter to Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) Chief Building Inspector

re: Building Violation

Stop Work Order / Notice on Title / Occupancy Permit

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Blue Divider Line

This letter to the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) Chief Building Inspector is about the building violation that you can find here on the Regional District of Central Okanagan's website.  This property owner is in violation due to not having an occupancy permit and someone living in the building without the building being finalized.  If you wish to make a comment about it, fill out the form at the bottom of this page and your comment will be posted here on this website.  Letters to and from RDCO Chief Building Inspector are posted here on this website.

October 25, 2009

To RDCO Chief Building Inspector Ray Paterson:

Ray Paterson, thank you for your correspondence of Oct. 9, 2009 demanding another building inspection by Oct 30, 2009 or else. Or else what? What is it that you are threatening me with? I do not know how to respond to you when I don’t have a clue what you mean by this threat. I feel it only prudent and fair that you clarify what it is you are threatening me with?

May I remind RDCO that my building permit has not expired and that my last building inspection report signed and dated by you Ray Paterson Chief Building Inspector was on June 2, 2009, which according to bylaw #835 will not expire unless there has been no progress for over one year. In my case the pink inspection report of June 2, 2009 shows I need to do a couple of corrections on the progress that was made up until June 2, 2009 besides the SLOW, NO CHANGE interpretation of that same inspection written on the same inspection report by the same Chief Building Inspector.

As I read and understand the definition of occupancy permit in bylaw #835

f) "Completion Certificate" means an occupancy permit.

k) "Occupancy Permit" shall mean an inspection form, corresponding with the occupancy inspection, which shows that the Inspector considered that no further inspections were necessary and that the project authorized by the permit was considered to be complete and ready for use at the time of the occupancy inspection.

I feel bylaw #835 definition of “occupancy permit” means the whole building project is required to be finished and complete before an occupancy permit is granted because it is one permit, despite bylaw #835 definition

j) "Occupancy" means that use or intended use of a building or part thereof for the shelter or support of persons, animals or property.

Both the above occupancy definitions seem to contradict each other. One says “complete and ready for use” and the other says “part thereof”. What does project authorized by the permit mean? Does “the project” not mean the entire “building permit”? To me the project authorized by the permit being complete means the entire permit is finished and complete and no more inspections are required. Does complete mean the whole project authorized by the permit is unfinished and incomplete to RDCO? Am I wrong in my assumption? If I am wrong, please correct me.

In my case it would not matter the state of my building, occupancy permit or not, because I need a place to live that is warm, safe and secure this winter no matter what RDCO thinks. My building is only partly finished as you well know, or at least should know according to the building inspection reports thus far. I question your need to re-inspect the building so soon since the last inspection of June 2, 2009. Did you not read or understand the last registered letter I sent to you? What is it that you do not understand in regards to the Canadian Charter or UN Declaration?

I have not been keeping anything hidden from the Regional District, unlike the Ray Paterson directing unknown threats at me as stated in your last letter dated Oct. 9, 2009. I feel that the last letter I received from you is more like a mind game card and that this mind game is not very professional and further that this mind game can not be taken seriously as it is not a directive of the Regional Board members but is instead an unspecified threat that the Chief Building Inspector must have conjured up on his own. I don’t see in the bylaws where it says the Chief Building Inspector has the authority to carry out a threat on his own accord. If I am wrong, can you please point out where it says you have authority to carry out such action?

Like I said in my last letter, I cannot permit the Regional District to enter upon my property further, and that any further building inspections required will be performed by hired professionals who I am sure will not write SLOW, NO CHANGE on my building inspection report but will instead write a professional report and who will not threaten me with unknown recourse, nor will request unreasonable searches. May I also remind you that bylaw #835 section 8.13 states quote,

No person shall rely upon any permit as establishing compliance with this bylaw or assume or conclude that the bylaw has been administered or enforced according to its terms. The person to whom the building permit is issued and his or her agents are responsible for making such determinations.

I feel section 8.13 of bylaw #835 means that it is my own plus my agent’s responsibility to make sure that the building is in compliance with bylaw #835 and not RDCO’s responsibility. Please correct me if I am wrong. I feel that bylaw #835 is not in compliance with the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedom nor the UN Declaration of Human Rights and therefore I feel I need to take responsibility against the portions of bylaw #835 not in compliance. I take it that you disagree since you are insisting on another inspection by Oct 30, 2009. I disagreed with you, as I pointed out in my last letter to you, so I don’t understand why you are demanding an immediate inspection. Why are you not recommending to the Board Member’s whom make the decisions to take me to court if you disagree?

In my last letter to you, I stated that I will allow a building permit inspection report when I am ready for the next building permit inspection and before my building permit will expire on June 2, 2010 despite Bylaw #835 section 7.9 which states, No person shall change the occupancy of a building or part of a building without first obtaining a permit from the Inspector which authorizes the change. Please re-read the last letter I sent you plus the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and the UN Declaration of Human Rights in regards to this.

As I understand it, an occupancy permit means COMPLETE with floor finish (linoleum) and wall finish (paint) according to RDCO bylaw #835 section 19.10

When doing an occupancy inspection, the Inspector is authorized to review only the following items:
i) completeness of interior floor, wall and ceiling finishes;

As I understand section 19.10 of bylaw #835, I will not be granted an occupancy permit without the drywall mudded and taped and painted and without the floor finish (linoleum) applied to the entire building, which I feel means RDCO will not allow occupancy of the building if these are not complete, which you are well aware they are not complete. If you feel I am wrong about my assumption that the whole building needs to be complete please correct and advise me what all needs to be complete in order to be eligible to be granted an occupancy permit. Do I not need an inspection to show the exterior is complete? Maybe I can comply with an occupancy permit willingly, if I have the means to comply and I completely understand what exactly it is you require that I comply with in order to be granted an occupancy permit. Please explain in detail if you require the mud and taping of the drywall right down to the paint plus what type of floor finish bylaw #835 is referring to (lino etc.), plus what is required to be complete in each room of my building in order for you to grant an occupancy permit. Maybe I misunderstood what occupancy permit means to RDCO? Also, what is it that you feel is unsafe about the building as one of your initial letters stated? Please do not ignore my questioning and reply with answers to my questions this time instead of ignoring me again please?

I feel section 7.9 of RDCO bylaw #835 goes against the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and therefore I refuse to permit the Regional District of Central Okanagan to force me to sleep in a tent this winter no matter what stage my building permit may be at. I can only afford to live in the building as I stated in my last letter. It was minus 9 degrees for two nights in a row a couple weeks ago and I surely would not have survived that temperature sleeping in a tent with my poor blood circulation. My building permit has a lock on both doors for my security, there is inspected and proper fire escape egress through the bedroom window and all the safety factors are in place and working, including locks on the windows, approved and inspected smoke alarms, R20 insulation in the walls and R40 in the ceiling, vapor barrier fully tuck taped, tar paper exterior, plus there is a pellet stove (inspected by a previous RDCO inspector) to help keep me warm. I have a roof over my head and am safe and secure in my building, unlike my other option (a tent) could ever provide me. I don’t understand why another inspection is required as you already know exactly what stage my building is at according to the last report. My building has been built according to code as reported in each of RDCO’s written inspection reports.

If what I proposed in my last letter is unacceptable to RDCO then please permit a judge to decide our disagreement. As I understand the law, a disagreement in regards to the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and/or the UN Declaration of Human Rights needs to be taken to court and that is what I wish to happen if we cannot come to an agreement.

You may place a notice on the title of my property if that is your future preferred unknown recourse, but may I warn you that this will do nothing for you, as I do not plan on ever selling and I have every intention of standing up for MY rights to have an affordable safe, secure, and warm place to sleep anywhere in Canada. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms tells me I have the right to live anywhere in Canada. I was born in British Columbia Canada. I need a safe secure place to sleep no matter if occupancy is granted or not.

I feel that the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms plus the UN Declaration of Human Rights would preclude RDCO’s barbaric bylaw #835 as well as Federal and Provincial Government building code and statutes in regards to occupancy permits. In any case a judge would correct either of us if we were wrong. It looks to me like we have a steadfast disagreement in reading your last letter dated Oct 9, 2009 insisting I have an inspection by Oct 30, 2009 when I just had an inspection in June 2009. Maybe this disagreement should go to court if we are so steadfast in our thoughts? I feel you are unreasonably searching my building asking for an inspection so soon and that I need a place to live no matter the state of progress on the building.

May I remind you that my lawyer has advised me to live in my building and that I was advised by my lawyer that it would be best to have a judge decide our disagreement if absolutely necessary.

You may want to review the case of Adams vs. the City of Victoria in regards to a tent city erected in the city park, plus re-read the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms to help decide what unknown action you have just threatened me with, since you did not elaborate what it is you are threatening me with (quote, further recourse).

Let me further remind you that it is all Regional District’s, plus Federal and Provincial Government’s mandates to combat homelessness instead of creating homelessness! People building their own homes should be permitted to live in them while they build, but I don’t see that to be the case, instead I see Government building homes for people to rent with government subsidy. The Government has completely ignored people whom want to try and survive on their own with what they have and live in their own home on their own property. This is only one reason why homelessness will NEVER cease. Government does not seem to understand that some people would rather live on the street than live in a shelter with rules. How many shelters can the government (taxpayers) afford to build anyway? I know I can’t afford to help invest in the banks to make record profits off me. The Regional District cannot require me to take out a mortgage so I can have a roof over my head if I can’t afford it.

And further to this letter, what harm has ever become of an occupier of a building without an occupancy permit in the past. Regional Districts have known full well someone has been occupying space without occupancy permits for years, as in the case of my parent’s property that has had a home built on it for close to 25 years with occupants living in it and obviously occupying the space the entire time paying full taxes without an occupancy permit.

Your co-operation in keeping me safe, warm and secure over future winters would be much more appreciated rather than a costly court battle that could cost taxpayers dearly including myself if I were to win my case, which this would not be fair to me as a taxpayer for RDCO to loose this court case against me, forcing me to pay as a taxpayer if I win my case, now would it?

Further to the above, I do not understand how it came about that the Chief Building Inspector Ray Paterson retains authority or has received permission from Regional Board members to threaten me with anything (letter dated Oct 9, 2009 quote, “pursuing another recourse”), as I read nothing in the bylaws nor the Regional Board or Governance and Services Committee agenda or minutes of the meetings in regards to this matter. Please advise me as to what Ray Patterson the Chief Building Inspector will be recommending to the Regional Board, as the October 9, 2009 letter does not explain anything of the sort.

I can only hope that Ray Paterson revises his stance, and that we can work out an agreement instead of having to take this to court. I look forward to your reply.

Thank you,
S Schnurr

CC: Development and Environmental Services Manager Dan Plamondon

Blue Divider Line

July 9, 2009 RDCO passed their policy that you have to build within 4 years

THAT The Regional Board endorse the policy for closing inactive building permits/stop work orders with a bylaw contravention notice:

1. Building Permits that are inactive for more than one year period

2. Buildings that are occupied without approval where occupancy has not been granted regardless of time-frame.

3. Building Permits that are still active but are not completed within four years from the date of permit issuance.

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Letters from Chief Building Inspector

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