Coun­cil­lor calls for over­sight

Metro Canada (Ottawa) - - Ottawa -

As com­plaints about the con­duct of con­struc­tion crews pile up in his ward as a re­sult of in­creased in­fill de­vel­op­ment, Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper is call­ing for the cre­ation of an om­budsper­son “to whom res­i­dents can go when things turn bad on a project.”

Not only does Leiper want the cre­ation of an om­budsper­son, but he wants the in­dus­try to pay for it it­self; Leiper sin­gled out the Greater Ot­tawa Home Builders As­so­ci­a­tion to fund the po­si­tion. “We need a body that can sanc­tion bad builders, and rec­og­nize good,” he wrote.

Leiper’s ward has been a hot­bed for in­fill de­vel­op­ment in re­cent years, which has led to a break­down in the re­la­tion­ship be­tween res­i­dents and builders. In a blog post on Satur­day, Leiper shared a screen­shot of a text mes­sage ex­change in which a builder called a res­i­dent “an id­iot” for ask­ing that they move a se­cu­rity fence off the home’s wall.

“One of the great­est frus­tra­tions I have as the one looked to most of­ten to sort out dis­agree­ments be­tween builders and neigh­bours is how few tools coun­cil­lors and even the city have to deal with the com­plaints that we hear,” wrote Leiper. “When things go wrong, we need bet­ter tools to deal with that.”

Metro file

Jeff Leiper

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