County of Wetaskiwin denies request to cut $1,000 fee

After nine months of wrangling, property owner faces $1,000 fee

The County of Wetaskiwin has denied a request to reduce a fee from $1,000 to $100 after saying the applicant had plenty of time to follow the rules.

The request came from property owners James Borthwick & Mrs. Annette Borthwick.

Assistant CAO Jeff Chipley presented the report to councilors. In his memo he stated, “During an inspection by the Assessment Department in 2018, in was noted that on the NE 22- 47-24-W4M, a second story addition had been constructed to the dwelling located on the property without obtaining the required Development Permit.

“Upon discovery of the development, the Assessment Department notified the Planning and Economic Development Department, which in turn requested the services of the Protective Services Department, who assists in the enforcement of the Land Use Bylaw.

“Administration sent a Notice to the property owners as listed on title, Mr. James Borthwick & Mrs. Annette Borthwick. Within the Notice, the property owners were requested to submit a completed Development Permit Application by January 4, 2019 for the second story addition constructed to the dwelling on the property or a Warning Letter would be issued, leading to the requisite fee becoming $500 in accordance with the Fees and Charges Bylaw.”

Chipley stated for the next month or so the county worked with Borthwick to try to get the permit completed, with no luck. “Throughout January of 2019, Administration worked closely with Mr. Borthwick in regard to the submission of a Development Permit Application for the second story addition, which was due on January 4, 2019,” stated Chipley in his report.

“Mr. Borthwick submitted the Development Permit Application without payment on January 22, 2019, which was more than two (2) weeks later than requested in the Notice. Furthermore, Administration showed additional leniency by allowing Mr. Borthwick to provide payment at the regular rate of one hundred dollars ($100), as a Warning Letter had not been sent although Mr. Borthwick did not meet the deadline established in the Notice, to which Mr. Borthwick did provide payment on January 31, 2019, almost a month overdue.

“During review of the Development Permit Application submitted by Mr. Borthwick, Administration noted that full information was not provided by Mr. Borthwick in regard to the Application, meaning that the Application was currently deemed incomplete in accordance with the Municipal Government Act (MGA).

“To remedy the incompleteness of the Development Permit Application, Administration contacted Mr. Borthwick by email on January 31, 2019, by voicemail on February 13, 2019, and finally, by mail on February 20, 2019 advising of the incompleteness 2 of the Application and to have it remedied by March 12, 2019. No action was taken by Mr. Borthwick to get the application completed.”

Chipley stated over nine months in total more delays were encountered with this issue, where a stop order was issued and the fee of $1,000 applied to the unpermitted development. He stated that Borthwick sent a letter to council requesting the fee be dropped back to $100.

“The application never was fully complete,” said Chipley.

Councilor Ken Adair saw no reason to reduce the fee. “He’s had lots of opportunity,” said Adair.

Councilors unanimously denied Borthwick’s request.

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