No sympathy for illegal housing


Iqaluit’s city council passed a resolution to get tough on illegal housing units in industrial zones, at a Nov. 22 meeting.

Earlier this month the city presented its plan, which would see buildings brought into line with zoning regulations in the next two years.

It’s based on a study conducted this summer of the North 40 and West 40 industrial zones, which identified at least a dozen illegal apartments. City officials also saw children playing among scrap metal and other old construction materials, prompting safety concerns.

Property owners appealed the city, asking for more time. But in some cases, they’ve now received less.

Glenda Zuker from Northern Properties requested that her company be given five years to come into compliance. Instead, they’ve been asked by the city to become compliant in one year.

“We’d prefer three years, but we’d certainly go along with the original plan, which was two years,” she said at the most recent meeting.

But she received little sympathy from most councillors.

“I’m looking at all the other businesses that are compliant,” said Glenn Williams.

“I even think one year is too long a grace period,” said Simon Nattaq. “Maybe we should talk of days, and not years.”

All councillors voted in favour, except for Brad Hall, who said he felt one year wasn’t long enough.

“It’s not over yet,” Zuker said, before leaving the room.

The clamp-down on illegal housing is driven by fears that the city is running out of industrial-use land.

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