White Rock council voted last month to deny an after-the-fact development variance application for this patio-cover structure.

White Rock council voted last month to deny an after-the-fact development variance application for this patio-cover structure.

‘Ignorance is bliss’ argument can’t be supported: White Rock councillor

White Rock council votes to force builder to remove a patio cover that was built without a permit.

A White Rock homeowner who asked for permission to build a patio-cover structure for his Moffat Lane abode after the structure was already in place will have to take it down.

Council voted unanimously last month to deny a request for a development variance permit for 15615 Moffat Lane.

“This isn’t just a regular person who made a mistake,” Fathers said.

The issue came to the city’s attention after a neighbour complained. When staff investigated, they found the structure did not meet front- and side-yard setbacks as required in the bylaw.

While staff had recommended council approve the variance application – as they had done in a similar situation for a home at 15605 Moffat Lane in June 2013 – the politicians disagreed.

At a public meeting held prior to the vote, a neighbour who spoke against the application cited the structure’s impact to his privacy and “optical breathing space,” as well as the fact city rules were side-stepped.

In opposing the application, Coun. Louise Hutchinson noted both requests were made by the same builder.

“Now… they just did exactly the same thing,” she said.

Hutchinson described the repeated violation as “a slap in the face to all of our processes.”

In an April 2014 letter to council, homeowner Bhupinder Pandher apologizes and explains the cover was built due to safety concerns associated with people throwing  objects into the yard.

Hutchinson said council can’t support “ignorance is bliss.”

“It wasn’t ignorance the second time,” she said. “I think you can forgive a person once. Why didn’t they go through the process properly the second time?”

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