South Surrey house still unfinished after two years

The owner of this unfinished South Surrey house has been given 30 days to clean up the site after two years of inaction. - Dan Ferguson photo
The owner of this unfinished South Surrey house has been given 30 days to clean up the site after two years of inaction.
— image credit: Dan Ferguson photo

A South Surrey home that has remained unfinished for more than two years has been declared a nuisance by the City of Surrey and the owner has been given 30 days to clean things up.

On Monday (Jan. 23), Surrey Council voted to send the owner of the house at 14460 32B Ave. a letter giving her 30 days to fill in a gaping hole in the backyard where a partially-finished concrete swimming pool sits gathering water.

Rajinder Kaur Sidhu has also been ordered to: remove "all rubbish and debris," trim the trees and bushes "so as to return the property to a neat and tidy condition," install "properly engineered retaining structures" around the excavated slope of the property and "fully enclose and secure the partially constructed building on the property."

Sidhu could not be reached for comment.

A report by the city solicitor describes how building permits were issued for the house, a retaining wall and a swimming pool in November 2008.

By May of 2010, the house remained unfinished and so did the swimming pool.

After neighbours complained, city staff contacted the owner by phone, who explained that she was unable to continue with construction because of her "financial situation." She promised to clean up the site, the report states.

When the work remained undone a month later, staff called again and were told that "personal issues" were preventing the clean-up from proceeding.

What followed, according to the report, were months of more complaints by neighbours, more demands by the city and occasional efforts by workmen that failed to meet the city requirement of an extensive cleanup.

By adopting the city solicitor's recommendation to have the site declared a nuisance, council has given city staff the power to carry out the required wok at the owner's expense if it remains undone after 30 days.

A visit to the site on Monday (Jan. 23) by the Peace Arch News found construction debris scattered around the back of the unfinished three-storey structure, and water collecting in the bottom of the half-built swimming pool, located in a deep pit in the backyard that did not appear to have any retaining wall to prevent collapse.

There were shingles on the roof, and windows installed, but there was no siding; only a white-plastic moisture barrier that a neighbor said had been recently applied over unprotected and apparently weather-damaged exterior particle board.

It was the only unfinished house on the street, which features newer, larger homes.

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