North Delta residents looking to rebuild after the Surrey townhouse fire this past July will get their permits expedited and fees waived.
Council voted on Monday, Sept. 17 to approve the motion put forward by Mayor Lois Jackson to help residents seeking to reconstruct or repair their homes.
“Time is moving, and I understand some folks are trying to get these permits and not having to pay for their use,” she said. “We’re getting into the real rainy season and I think people are anxious.”
Residents looking to fix homes impacted by the fire would have their permits pushed quickly through the application process and have any municipal fees not covered by insurance waived.
Counc. Jeannie Kanakos lives in the Sunshine Woods area, which saw most of the impact from the Surrey townhouse fire on July 5.
“I know that many folks are still dealing with major renovations, not only fire damage but the water damage, of course, to put the fires out,” she said. Residents are also dealing with the mental trauma of that night, she added, saying that some people in her neighbourhood begin to relive that night whenever they hear fire trucks.
Kanakos also noted that a public meeting about fire safety in North Delta, proposed by the Delta Fire Department, hasn’t happened yet and a date has not yet been set.
The motion didn’t set any new precedents — during past flooding in Boundary Bay, Tsawwassen residents saw similar relief for their renovations — but Counc. Heather King did note that these kinds of motions could come up more frequently because of climate change and suggested an over-arching policy be developed in the future.
Delta staff are also looking at the possibility of replacing fire-damaged fencing along Scott Road. Although these fences are not municipally owned, the city is looking at replacing them because of their proximity to the main corridor.
The city is also looking at the cost associated with replacing all the fencing that borders Scott Road in the Sunshine Woods area, not just the ones that were damaged by the fire.