From The Gazette

Beaconsfield

Permit saga snags new Beaconsfield homeowner’s expansion plans

  • Angelo Chiotis walks outside his house in Beaconsfield where he installed siding on an extension last year.
    Angelo Chiotis walks outside his house in Beaconsfield where he installed siding on an extension last year.
    Photo credit: Peter McCabe, The Gazette

Beaconsfield council is still reflecting on whether to grant a building permit for a completed family-room extension on a new home construction from last year.

A motion to refuse a permit dealing with an extension at 113 Celtic Drive, as recommended by the city’s urban planning advisory committee, was deferred at the Jan. 28 municipal council meeting after the homeowner showed up to plead his case.

Angelo Chiotis, who said his family moved into their new home on Celtic Drive last February, decided to do some alterations, including a kitchen expansion, which is still a work in progress, as well as a family room extension toward the back end facing what was initially planned to be a patio. When city staff informed him the contractor had not obtained a permit for the family room extension, for which he had already started work on last May, Chiotis said he went to city hall to obtain one. Thinking he did what was required, he completed the extension, utilizing a vinyl siding material that had already been used on a portion of the main house above some brickwork.

Mayor David Pollock said at question is the exterior materials used for this extension – vinyl versus brick – rather than an issue with property-line setbacks. He added this particular work was undertaken without a permit being granted by the city. The mayor added the resident only officially filed a permit request last October after the city had sent a registered letter in July informing him about the lack of conformity regarding the siding.

The mayor said, ultimately, it is the responsibility of homeowners to make sure any construction work conforms with city bylaws and that they have the required permits.

“It’s not a big issue. It affects an individual person,” Pollock said of the permit. “These issues come up from time to time. People change a project but they have to make sure it’s properly approved.”

Council will have another in-camera caucus session and verify details with its urban planning department before the concerned item is to be voted on publicly, the mayor said.

“We’ve simply asked them to keep the same materials on what was built adjacent,” Pollock said, adding that council would only be asking the homeowners to take down some non-conforming siding and use brick if it is decides to refuse the permit request.

Chiotis said the roof section covering the extended family room/former patio area had been built as part of the main house construction. “It’s a no-brainer, if you are allowing a roof, that means you are allowing me to extend my house,” he said.

Not satisfied with the initial kitchen delivered by the contractor, the family decided to expand it and to extend the family room.

Chiotis said he went to pay for a permit right after being notified by the city last July. While doing the family room extension, Chiotis said city staff passed by during the summer and never once indicated there was a problem with the siding material. He said the city sent another letter in October, which stated a portion of the home facing Beaurepaire Dr. had to be covered in brick.

“I’m not going to take anything down right now and go with brick. You understand how much that will cost me? I’ve spent so much money (already),” he said.

Chiotis said if council votes against him and insists the siding be replaced by brick, he would be prepared to fight the order in court.

Councillor Rhonda Massad stated the deferred urban planning file was not the first case of an item coming up for a public vote with some information missing.

“When this was presented to council and we would be having to vote on whether to demolish the extension or not, we simply did not have proper information,” she said.

“Simple files are being mishandled and then council is misinformed. The results are damaging to the resident and, therefore, damaging to the city. I have no faith in the information I am receiving, I never know if I have it all or if it’s the truth,” she continued.

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