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‘Get the permit,’ says Hillier

By Patrick Newhook/February 17, 2022

Even though building permits have been free the past two years in Conception Bay South as part of the Town’s effort to encourage activity during the pandemic, some people are still going ahead without them.

Planning committee chairman Rex Hillier said skipping the permit can end up costing people a lot of money and trouble in the long run.

Hillier raised the issue during Tuesday’s council meeting in effort to make everyone comply with the rules, for their own benefit as well as for the benefit of their neighbours and the Town.

“We require permits for a whole variety of projects – decks, sheds, garages, fences, houses and so forth,” said Hillier. “And to encourage residents to get these permits, we don’t charge for them. All they need to do is drop into the Town Hall with their proposals, with their plans and we’ll give them the permit. Unfortunately, people still go ahead with projects without a permit and that’s a concern.”

Given the town’s size and fast pace of growth, adhering to building code rules has become more important than ever.

“It’s a concern from our point of view in that we don’t have any control over the development of the town unless we know what people have permits and what they’re doing,” Hillier allowed. “Obviously from the other point of view, if someone builds a shed or someone builds a garage, they’re probably glad it’s going to go up, and there will be some tax increase, but we don’t see that if there’s no permit. A greater concern is our concern for residents…  Like with any permit you automatically get access to our staff for recommendations, suggestions and so on.”

In cases where people proceed without permits, the Town has discovered some serious issues that end up having to be fixed after the fact, he said. And that can be costly for the property owner.

“For the most part we try to work with the residents to bring them into compliance, but for a lot of cases it’s been very, very expensive for the resident when they may have had to move a shed, or cut the end off a shed when if they had simply come and gotten a permit and worked with our staff, this would not have been a concern. It can be very, very expensive.”

Mayor Darrin Bent added that doing work without a permit can also cause problems when a property is sold. Like Hillier, the mayor encouraged people to get a permit before starting any work.

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