RD steps in on staircase

Couple out more than $80K because of RD ruling

  • May. 26, 2015 1:00 p.m.

Scott Stanfield

Record Staff

A Curtis Road couple who replaced a staircase installed by previous homeowners in 1971 have landed themselves in a mess with the regional district.

Lisa and John Zuk — who purchased their Area B property about 12 years ago — repaired the 26 stairs several times but finally tore them down and built new ones in 2012.

They did so without without a development or building permit, which prompted the CVRD to initiate bylaw compliance.

“We did not know we required a permit, so we built them without a permit,” Lisa said, noting they had also installed rip rap on their beach.

In November, Lisa said they struck a deal with the CVRD, whereby the couple could keep the rip rap but remove the roof of a pergola along with the stairs. A month later, Lisa said the CVRD’s lawyer filed a civil claim against them. The district would not comment on the last statement.

“Our interest is getting them into compliance with the bylaws that every other taxpayer has to comply with,” said Alana Mullaly, manager of planning services. “It does make for a challenging process when you do work without permits and then have to go back and remedy.”

The staircase came to the district’s attention because it received a complaint that construction materials had been dumped on the beach. The materials have been cleared from the area.

After spending about $7,500 to repair the stairs on various occasions, Lisa said she and John spent another $75,000 on reports, surveys and legal fees.

They also had to pay a $4,500 security deposit to the district, part of which will be held back.

“It’s been a hard and arduous battle with them,” Lisa said. “It’s been a nightmare. It’s so frustrating. We just want it to go away.”

The purpose of the deposit is to ensure the CVRD can correct any damage if work is not undertaken properly.

“As a regular function of all of our development permits, we take a security deposit,” Mullaly said. “That’s not unique to the Zuks, that’s a standard requirement. It’s certainly not a fine. It’s wholly refundable if the work is done the way that the permit spells out.”

She notes the couple hired a consulting biologist to make recommendations, including a landscaping plan.

“We hold back a portion of the money,” Mullaly said. “The idea is to hold it for a full growing season. At the end of that period, then they get that money back.”

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gp Vanier in Courtenay. Circa 2018. Photo courtesy Comox Valley Schools
Another COVID exposure alert for Vanier Secondary in Courtenay

Island Health has sent another exposure alert to parents of students attending… Continue reading

“Of Bears at Fridges, drinking Planes and Cinderella’s Shoe” is Jordis Trumby’s first children’s book. Photo supplied.
Courtenay author writes, illustrates first children’s book

When is a collaboration not a collaboration? At first glance, Courtenay author… Continue reading

The 5th Street Bridge requires structural improvements, new coating to repair and prevent corrosion, and deck repairs. File photo
City of Courtenay awards contract for 5th Street Bridge project

The City of Courtenay has awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of… Continue reading

Pumpjacks pump crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., June 20, 2007.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Gas prices jump in the Valley – and experts predict prices to rise even more

“We still could be talking about record prices…”

NIC Practical Nursing instructor Barb McPherson (right) is pictured with student Rebecca Wood in 2018 in NIC’s SIM lab. NIC photo
Learn about Practical Nursing opportunities for Island students

Students interested in exploring a future in health care are invited to… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

COVID-19 vaccines were available at a site on East Pender in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Feb. 25. (Twitter/Sarahblyth17)
Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside residents offered $5 after getting COVID-19 vaccine

It’s an effort to ‘incentivize people to engage,’ says B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix

</p>
A survey by Statistics Canada finds Black Canadians earn less than non-visible minority Canadians despite having higher levels of education. (The Canadian Press file photo)
COVID-19 worsened unemployment picture for Black Canadians

Black Canadians also more likely to suffer other hardships

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. teacher transferred then suspended after students report feeling ‘scared, nervous’

Authorities found that teacher did not create inviting, respectful environment for students

Victoria’s Swartz Bay terminal. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries offers cheaper, prepaid fare options

Ferry service preparing for busy terminals when travel restrictions are lifted

FILE - Dolly Parton arrives at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning singer, actor and humanitarian posted a video on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, of her singing just before getting her COVID-19 vaccine shot. Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee for coronavirus research. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
‘Vaccine, vaccine’: Dolly sings ‘Jolene’ rewrite before shot

The Grammy-winning legend turned 75 this year

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland speaks about the Fiscal update during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday November 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID-19: Wage and rent subsidies, lockdown support to be extended until June

Chrystia Freeland says now is not time to lower levels of support

The area on Cordova Bay Road where ancestral human remains were discovered Feb. 22. (Submitted photo)
Human remains discovery a reminder of B.C. Indigenous culture dug up and displaced

‘These are the people who inspired and birthed the generations that we now have here’

Most Read