Construction on South Surrey 'nuisance' house resumes after two years
Work has resumed on a new South Surrey home that was declared a nuisance by the city in January.
As long as city inspectors see progress being made on the uncompleted Elgin-area house, owner Rajinder Kaur Sandhu will avoid a forcible cleanup by the city at her expense.
That's according to Rick Bamford, Surrey’s manager of operations for bylaws and licensing.
"It's like any other construction site (now)," Bamford told Peace Arch News Wednesday.
Sandhu could not be reached for comment.
After the house sat unfinished for more than two years, the city sent Sandhu a letter giving her 30 days to fix a gaping hole in the backyard where a partially-finished concrete swimming pool sat gathering water.
Sandhu was also 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."
A report by the city solicitor described how building permits were issued for the house, a retaining wall and a swimming pool in November 2008.
But as of May 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 stated.
When the work remained undone a month later, staff called again and were told that "personal issues" were preventing the cleanup 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.
A visit to the site April 3 by the Peace Arch News revealed the exterior stonework is virtually complete.
A previous visit on Jan. 23 found only a white-plastic moisture barrier that a neighbor said had been recently applied over unprotected and apparently weather-damaged exterior particle board.
It is the only unfinished house in the 14400-block of 32B Avenue, which features newer, larger homes.