Abbotsford City Hall File photo

Abbotsford City Hall File photo

City cracking down on builder bait-and-switch

Abbotsford upping deposit required from builders of single-family houses

The City of Abbotsford is looking to get tough on home builders who get plans approved only to change things once construction begins.

As part of a revamp of its building bylaw, the city plans to boost the security deposit required from builders of single-family houses.

“This is in hope to keep the builders from not deviating from the approved plans – which we’ve been having a lot of difficulty with,” Avy Woo, the city’s director of building and development engineering, told council.

A report to council said staff currently spend significant time on ad hoc changes – on issues such as lot grading, drainage, erosion control and paving – that conflict with previous plans used by builders to receive permits.

The move is one of several changes to the city’s building bylaw intended to deal with those who disobey rules.

The city is also going to double the penalty for builders who begin work without yet having received a building permit.

It will also institute a “clean hands” policy that will allow staff to penalize builders contravening the bylaw by not issuing permits that the same operator may be seeking for other locations.

On the flip side, the new bylaw will make permits no longer required for temporary tents for special events.


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