A Winnipeg-based contracting company is suing the Town of Neepawa and the Neepawa and Area Planning District after council ordered the removal of two new homes.
According to the statement of claim filed last month by FCP Smart Builders Inc., the town issued building permits in 2011 to the company to build the foundation and install three modular homes on two separate properties in Neepawa.
However, after two homes were in place — one property owned by an investment company and the other by an individual — the Neepawa and Area Planning District said the homes didn’t comply with the town’s zoning bylaw relating to modular home sizes.
In February 2012, the town demanded the owner of one of the new homes — located at 10 James Bay — be removed within 30 days before the planning department said it didn’t have such authority.
Months later, the town passed a resolution that would require the planning district to bring the homes into compliance “by facilitating the removal,” according to the meeting’s minutes from May 2012.
“It’s a matter of the houses do not appear to be in compliance with the town bylaw and that’s the main point of contention,” Mayor Ken Waddell told the Sun. He said neither home meets the size requirements outlined in the town’s bylaws.
The company argues that the planning district was aware of the builder’s intentions at the outset, according to court documents and “the building permits provided to (FCP) were untrue, inaccurate and/or misleading,” and the town “acted negligently in issuing the building permits.”
Along with claiming the costs incurred by the revoked building permits, FCP is requesting an injunction restraining the town or the planning district from removing the two structures until the matter has been resolved in court.
FCP directed inquiries to its lawyer, who did not respond to the Sun’s request for comment. None of the claims made by FCP have been proven in court.
The town has yet to file a statement of defence, and Waddell said he doesn’t know if the matter will be settled out of court.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 7, 2013