I would like you to imagine the following scenario:
Things are going great at work, money is good lots of overtime. But the house is getting too small for you, your lovely spouse, 3 kids, a dog and a cat. You decide to build an addition on your house. You get the necessary permits and site plan from the town. You hire a contractor. Construction finally starts. Excavation machinery arrives a 10ft hole gets dug at the side of your house.
Then before you can pour the foundations and basement walls, something changes in your personal situation. You went to the doctors for your annual check up. Your PSA blood test is off the scale. On further investigation you have early age, aggressive prostate cancer. Very rare for someone in there 40’s but when it happens it spreads quickly if not treated aggressively and immediately. No work for you in the immediate future. As the concrete trucks are showing up, you halt construction on your future dream and pay the contractor off with a little extra for his trouble. You area decent person and he has not taken any other work on for the summer.
It’s a long hard road to recovery, radiation, chemotherapy a protracted period of recuperation. Everyone in the family pitches in you already had a line of credit and credit cards which all get maxed out. Your spouse worked extra shifts at her job, you manage to keep your house, just.
What about the renovation? It’s an eye sore now and has filled with 2 feet of water. The neighbors were ok at first but then summer came and the weeds grew 3 feet high and the water becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes and bugs. A neighbor drops by and casually asks what the plan is for the renovation. This is the last thing on your mind right now you are back at work but barely keeping your head above water. Two weeks later you get a letter from a bylaw enforcement officer, complete with photographs of your hole in the ground with 14 days to get it filled in. You call the town, leave a message for the person who sent the letter. A couple of days go by playing phone tag, you are working your arse off trying to keep up with the bills. Finally you both connect. You explain your situation. You just don’t have an extra $2,000 to get the hole filled and grass relayed. The person on the other end of the line is very sympathetic they will go and talk to their superior on your behalf. Another week goes by. Another letter arrives from the town. While they appreciate your situation they have granted you another 30 days in light of your problems. But after that date the town will have no alternative but to hire a local excavation company to fill in the hole. You will of course be charged for the work and if you are unable to pay, the amount will be added to your property taxes along with interest, administration fees, inspection fees etc.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem that the town stepped in to fill in the hole on the private citizens renovation. You can’t have this type of eye sore in the middle of town. But why is there one rule for us regular citizens and another for developers that run out of money, sales, imagination, or maybe the dog just ate there homework and they could not continue.
Now take a look at the following pictures: