Safety concerns at the Penticton Speedway have surfaced after several accessory buildings and bleachers were built without permits or inspections by regional district staff.
On Thursday Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen directors will discuss a staff report that shows nine buildings or bleachers have been built on the Carmi Road property without being inspected or receiving permits.
A report outlines RDOS staff first discovered during routine inspections in the Carmi area on Aug. 1, 2017 and Sept. 11, 2017. Staff found public washrooms and two sets of spectator bleachers were built without building permits.
On Sept. 26, 2017, a stop work letter was mailed to the owners and on Feb. 8, 2018, a final notice letter was sent.
Staff conducted a site inspection on Dec. 18, 2018, and found five other buildings, a storage building and four cover-all type buildings, that were also built without permits.
Because staff deem there to be health and safety deficiencies and the buildings were built without permits a notice on title and injunctive action is being sought.
“Seeking a court injunction has a legal cost and the board may wish to choose this option for enforcement of significant health or safety issues. As there are potential construction and health and safety deficiencies on this property, a Section 302 notice on title and injunctive action are recommended by staff,” the report states.
Owner Johnny Aantjes said he is working RDOS staff to resolve the issues without a court order.
Aantjes said when he bought the property over 20 years ago he replaced many of the bleachers and a permit wasn’t required. He thought the same when he built two new bleachers for the bull riding area.
“I appreciate what they’re trying to do. There are some things that are changing they’re trying to get everybody up to a certain code. Some of it is due to me and some of it a bit onerous. At the same time I’m all for things being safe,” he said. “Speaking to some people down at the RDOS, I’m confident we will be able to resolve all of the outstanding issues.”
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