Fair, or not?

Letter writer has an issue with the regional district

We are two seniors who moved to Shoreacres in 2010 onto 1 3/4 acres with a small house. We built a new house (75 & 78 at the time). While building my husband fainted and hit his head and had to have surgery for seepage on the brain, which effected his memories. About 2 1/2 years later, he decided he should fix the small house and rent it, so we’d have help when needed.

So I phoned the Regional District of Central Kootenay to see if this was legal. (Since I wasn’t present when the building permit was issued, and my husband doesn’t remember being told that its stated on the permit that its illegal, we didn’t know). I told the women that took my call we had 1 3/4 acres in Shoreacres, had built a new house and was it legal to rent the small house, she got the bylaws then asked how old the small house was.

I said it was 50+ years, she replied normally you couldn’t, but the bylaw didn’t come into effect until 1985. The grandfather clause kicks in and the bylaw doesn’t apply to the small house, so go ahead fix and rent it, so we did. June 1, 2013 our tenant moved in, 1 1/2 week later we received a call from the building inspector saying he was coming to see if the small house had been shut down! I phoned the bylaw officer and told her what happened, she said the call was on record and she’d fixed it, strange she didn’t? They did trace the women that took my first call (they refuse to give us her name).

Even though we were misinformed, they insisted we evict our tenant – we weren’t about to do that to her. I spoke to a planner, (nice caring young man) who suggested we apply for a site specific rezoning to make the house legal; it was not approved. Trailers are legal, unreal!

At the public hearing it was suggested we be given a special permit for as long as we’re here. We also asked for one from our area representatives, and the planners made a note to be presented to the board; nothing was presented at the board meeting. Two of the people that voted for approval were not in the minutes, nor was any part of my speech, as promised.

We’ve tired to get a special permit since, but they won’t take any responsibility and keep blaming me for not giving enough information, why didn’t she ask? What do they get paid for? We’ve met with intimidation, will be charged if we don’t comply, if that isn’t senior abuse, what is? Can’t accuse the RDCK of compassion!

There are plenty of illegal rentals here – we feel we’ve been victimized; fair is fair. Give us a permit for as long as we’re here, that’s all we ask.


-Annie and Marten