Is the “Guest House” Legal or Illegal???


Holy Crap!!! That last post got some tongues wagging 124 views in one hour last night.

Before I get into this I want to be absolutely clear. I am not accusing the Deputy Mayor of anything. I am not accusing the Town of Collingwood’s building department of anything. I am a layman and with my limited knowledge of such things, even I can see some glaring inconsistencies in the paperwork that was forwarded to me. Never mind about the Bed and Breakfast and the way that was rammed through council, that will get dealt with by the OMB and another post.

I looked online and found the following information:

Part of Ontario’s Building Standards

Under the Ontario Building Code Act, a building permit is required for the construction or installation of a new structure, or for the construction of an addition or alteration of any structure that results in a building area of over 10 m2 (107 square feet). The following was an item in a list of around 15 typical projects that require a new and separate building permit.
◾Interior alterations for residential units if; a bedroom is created, a garage is converted to living space, a seasonal room converted to a year-round use, a new dwelling unit is being created.

Also as per Section 3.0 Defined Terms and Section 3.1 Definitions of Collingwood’s Zoning By-law describing an “Attached Garage”

“Any building, otherwise complete in itself, which depends on structural support or enclosure upon a common wall shared with an adjacent building.”

Take another look at the photo from my previous blog post:

Llyoyds B and B

As you can see the “garage” does not share a common wall nor does it depend on structural support from the main building. So its a detached garage by Town of Collingwood’s own definition.

The following is taken directly from one of the OMB appeals (I will publish the whole thing in my next post).
Collingwood’s Zoning By-law defines an “Accessory Apartment” as:
An independent and accessory secondary dwelling unit that is located within a single detached
dwelling. Again we draw your attention to the enclosed photos of the guest house on the subject property. This “Accessory Apartment” is clearly not within a single detached dwelling as defined and as such was an illegal non-conforming use to the existing non-amended Zoning By-law and further fails to conform to Amended Zoning By-law 2014-014.

What that means is that Rick Lloyd should have applied for, prior to completing any work on the garage, a zoning change of his property to include 2 separate occupied buildings. So with that in mind remember the change to the building permit? A very non official looking scribbling out of Detached and changed to Attached. That is why that is important and is the first thing that should be asked of the Collingwood Building Department.

So in conclusion if my neighbors were to complain to the Collingwood bylaw enforcement department that I had converted my garage at the bottom of my yard into a illegal suite. I can guarantee that I would have a visit from someone from town hall to make sure everything is completely kosher on my property. If they found that I had illegally constructed something I would get a red stop work order and a lot of nasty paperwork. I would be asked to open up walls and apply for different zoning on my property. I dare say that I would probably eventually be asked to return the space back into its original intended use. I wonder if the same can be said in our Deputy Mayors case. If not we have two different sets of rules for different people in town and not just certain developers.

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