PRRD still looking for building bylaw feedback before vote

The new building bylaw was met with opposition by many residents.

Staff of the Peace River Regional District continues to gather information to obtain the opinion of the electorate in the four rural electoral areas regarding the current building inspection process.

Chief Administrative Officer Chris Cvik says current plans still call for staff to present a feedback report to the PRRD Board in November.

At that time, it’s expected the directors will finally come up with a definitive decision regarding the future of the Building Bylaw for the largest regional district in the province.

It’s been the subject of a long debate, which has yet to result in a solution putting to rest the divisions over inspection service.

Last month PRRD staff sent out a letter to member municipalities, fire departments, banks, insurance companies, construction associations, and the regions school districts, requesting feedback of impact, if the board’s final determination is to discontinue the bylaw’s building inspection component.

The dispute has roots dating back about two decades, but it took the PRRD’s centre stage, when a new bylaw was implemented in March of 2013.

Then, despite reservations from several directors, it was repealed later that year, with the debate then moving forward through several legislative twists and turns.

Eventually the board opted to return to the original bylaw, but with a provision for a vote, in the four Rural Electoral Areas, with a combined population of just over 20,000 people, or about 35 per cent of the PRRD’s total population.

Mr. Cvik says it’s important to understand, that although this feedback process has been described as a referendum, this particular issue involves a regulatory bylaw and therefore cannot be the subject of a referendum.