This construction season has seen a few high profile failures on the part of some builders to be respectful and neighbourly during construction. These problems are not new, but with our recent construction boom I have been receiving complaints into my office with increased frequency. I have been working with administration on a case by case basis on many of these sites, but the tools the City has had at its disposal have been largely inadequate to deal with some problem builders. Ideally our rules will be able to both address problems that do occur and prevent the problems in the first place.
There are many respectful builders out there who take the time and effort to be good neighbours. Construction can be a disruptive process and we all try to be patient as our part of being neighbourly. But the poor practices of some have worn thin our patience even for respectful builders and this is harmful to everyone.
My colleagues and I recently passed a motion asking Administration to provide a report with potential options the City could use to improve builder behavior. These options range from little things like requiring a copy of permits, including conditions, as well as contact information for the permit holder and the constructor to be prominently displayed at the front of the property; to good neighbor agreements between neighbours and builders; to construction bonds; to a certification or classification program for builders in mature neighbourhoods; and to turning the good neighbour residential infill guidelines into an enforceable document.
Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts on potential rules to ensure good construction practices and I will pass them along to Administration while they write the report. Once the report is written it scheduled to come before Executive Committee on September 15 and members of the public are welcome and encouraged to come speak. The options that we select at committee will become the basis of potential new policies to regulate and ensure good builder behaviour.
Please feel free to contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 780.496.8146. Follow me on Twitter @ben_hen.