Woman denied occupancy in her Qualicum Beach home over height bylaw infraction

What was supposed to be a peaceful retirement in a quiet community turned into years of bureaucratic hurdles for a Vancouver Island woman. After building her dream home in Qualicum Beach, Krystyna Janik was told her roof is too high and it violates town zoning bylaws.

“I was really so excited — peace, quiet, beautiful ocean. I said god, you know what, finally, finally I will have something for myself and this is what is happening,” Janik said.

Based on town staff recommendation, Qualicum Beach town council voted unanimously to deny Janik an occupancy permit — meaning she can not move into her home, at its regular council meeting on Dec. 9. The recommended motion also put a notice on the land title, so any future owner will know the home violates town zoning laws.

“I think it’s a very valid concern. The Bluffs is a very nice part of town and everyone else is conforming — I don’t see why one house should be able to get an exception for that,” said Coun. Robert Filmer, who is now on leave from council.

The roof is two feet higher than is permitted at the highest point, according to the town.

Working with Mark Eshpeter, the town’s current building inspector, Janik decided to propose the town put the notice on title. This makes it clear to any future owners that the house does not adhere to zoning bylaws. She hoped this would mean she could get an occupancy permit and move in.

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