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Surrey councillor presents motion to curb illegal, unauthorized construction

Jack Hundial says illegal and unauthorized construction in Surrey ‘presents real dangers to life’
Surrey city Councillor Jack Hundial. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Surrey city Councillor Jack Hundial has presented a notice of motion aimed at curbing illegal and unauthorized construction in Surrey, which he says “presents real dangers to life.”

His motion, to be dealt with at council’s first council meeting in September, was presented early Tuesday morning at the last council meeting before the summer break.

Hundial noted that Surrey residents have been raising concerns about this going on, “particularly in existing residential zoning to increase the total enclosed square footing of a house.

“The current volumes of complaints for residents takes an inordinate amount of time and resources from staff, particularly our front-line bylaws, planning and legal departments,” he added.

Hundial’s motion asks council to direct city staff to report back with recommendations that include “enhanced enforcement, prosecution and public awareness that can be implemented to mitigate loss of life, destruction of property, and further compliance of the existing and new bylaws.”

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Meantime, a corporate report before council noted that Surrey has seen a 27 per cent increase in “overall value” of construction in the first six months of this year compared to the same period in 2020.

Kam Grewal, Surrey’s general manager of finance, noted in his report that the residential sector recorded an increase of 43 per cent in the value of construction year-over-year while the industrial, commercial and institutional (“ICI”) sector recorded a decline of 17 per cent.

“Compared to 2020, overall development activity has shown an uptick and developers are trying to take advantage of the hot residential real estate market by continuing with their existing projects or working on new projects in 2021,” Grewal noted.

Council’s next meeting is Sept. 13.

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About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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