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Burnaby warns potential buyers of illegal construction
Burnaby city hall wants to warn potential buyers of two homes whose owners have so far failed to comply with city bylaws and remove illegal construction.
The first, at 7551 Mary Ave., was the subject of a complaint alleging that unauthorized suites had been built in the single-family home. City inspectors confirmed in a June 2012 inspection that the attached garage had been converted to living space and a computer room had been built over the front entrance foyer, according to a city staff report.
The property owners, Xin Zhao and Jing Wu, were notified by letter days later that they were required to remove all the unauthorized construction and restore the garage to what was approved in the plans when the original building permit was issued.
The owners vacated the illegal suite in the garage and asked for an extension to spring 2013 to complete the rest of the work, claiming that the unauthorized construction was already there when they had bought the house. City hall later approved an additional extension to March 2014.
By then, city electrical inspectors confirmed the light fixtures and outlets had been removed in the computer room and all wiring had been terminated in outlet boxes.
"The property owners have, however, suggested in conversations to staff that they may consider selling the dwelling due to the repair costs," the report said.
Considering the second extension to complete the work, the city building department is asking for council's approval to file a Section 57 notice on the property's title to ensure any future buyers are aware of the outstanding issues. The notice will be removed once the required work is completed.
Similarly, city staff are seeking to place a notice on the title of 4386 Rumble St. where the owner is flouting city bylaws.
In June 2010, a contractor applied for a building permit to rebuild an awning and make structural upgrades to a deck following a fire.
During the plan-checking process, city staff determined the fire-damaged deck and cover had been built without a permit in the first place.
For them to be rebuilt, the project would require Board of Variance approval and structural drawings would need to be submitted to meet Building Code requirements.
After informing the property owner, Charles Surmik, the contractor was released from the job.
On March 21, 2013 the contractor submitted a request to cancel the permit application due to not going ahead with the work. That led to an inspection which found the deck cover had been rebuilt without a permit.
"Based on a discussion with the owner at the time of inspection, it became evident to staff that the owner is not prepared to proceed with the permit application process and necessary work to bring the construction into compliance with the Zoning and Building Bylaws," a city staff report said.
In addition to warning prospective buyers, city staff believe placing a notice on title in both cases "may encourage the owners to resolve the matter," the reports say.
"Building Department staff will continue to work with the property owner to resolve this matter. If necessary, legal action will be pursued to ensure compliance with City bylaws."