Unpermitted mobile home on farmland nets $1,000 County of Wetaskiwin fee

County of Wetaskiwin denies request to waive fee

County of Wetaskiwin council decided against waiving a $1,000 fee for a property owner who didn’t get the proper approvals for a mobile home. The decision was made at the July 11 Planning and Economic Development meeting.

Staff provided councilors with a detailed memo in their agenda package about this issue.

“During an inspection by the Assessment Department in 2018, it was noted that on the SW 23- 46-4-W5M, a mobile home had been placed on the property without obtaining the required Development Permit,” stated the agenda memo.

“Upon discovery of the developments, 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.

“On November 19, 2018, Administration sent a Notice to the property owner as listed on title, Mr. Russell Lomas, by regular mail in accordance with the Municipal Government Act and County protocol to the address currently on file with the County of Wetaskiwin for a Rimbey, Alberta address as provided by Mr. Lomas in 2009 according to County records and utilized for an approach inspection application in August of 2016.

“Administration also notes that the current Land Title Certificate from Alberta Land Titles, which is address of precedence in accordance with the Municipal Government Act should no additional addresses be provided to the municipality was last updated in March of 2005 and lists an Alder Flats address, meaning that the Rimbey address provided in 2009 was the most current address within County records.

“The Notice and Land Title Certificate have been provided for review by Council. Within the Notice, Mr. Lomas was requested to submit a completed Development Permit Application by December 19, 2018 for the mobile home placed 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.

“On December 21, 2018 after no response to the Notice had been received, Administration sent a Warning Letter by regular mail in accordance with the Municipal Government Act and County protocol to Mr. Lomas to the most current address provided for correspondence by mail, being the Rimbey, Alberta address. Mr. Lomas was requested to submit a completed Development Permit Application by January 19, 2019 for the mobile home placed on the property or a Stop Order would be issued, leading to the requisite fee becoming $1,000 in accordance with the Fees and Charges Bylaw.

“The Warning Letter has been provided for review by Council. 2 On January 23, 2019 after no response to the Warning Letter had been received, Administration sent a Stop Order by registered mail in accordance with the Municipal Government Act and County protocol to Mr. Lomas to the most current address provided for correspondence by mail, being the Rimbey, Alberta address. Mr. Lomas was requested to submit a completed Development Permit Application by February 23, 2019 for the mobile home placed on the property, with the requisite fee being $1,000 in accordance with the Fees and Charges Bylaw. The Stop Order has been provided for review by Council. On February 13, 2019, the Stop Order sent by registered mail was returned to the County of Wetaskiwin as unclaimed.”

It turns out Lomas, responding to the county in a letter, states he was out of province at the time.

“Let me state that my sole use of the property, SW-23-46-4 W5, is for agriculture purposes only, no one stays on the property, or in said mobile home, and the property lies unoccupied approximately 10 to 11 months of the year,” stated Lomas in his letter dated June 11.

“The only time I might be on site is to harvest the hay crop.

“I have been out of province from mid-September, 2018 through to mid-April 2019. When I returned to the property mid-April I found a notice taped to the front gate and, last Sunday, June 9, found the inspection notice taped to my fence.

“Furthermore, I am a 73 year old disabled senior living on a $1,240 per month pension, so that $1,000 charge against me is significant and I feel, unjust.” Lomas stated he would be willing to pay the original $100 development permit fee.

Councilors voted by a 5 to 1 margin to deny Lomas’ request.

Stu.salkeld@pipestoneflyer.ca

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