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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Ontario > SSP: Local Ottawa-Gatineau > General Discussion

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  #1  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 1:08 PM
jaz jaz is offline
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Legal rights to homeowners who have developments being constructed behind them?

I was wondering if there is a website or something out there detailing the legal rights a homeowner has when a development is behing constructed in the property behind them. What was a field is being turned into a single home/townhome development and I want to be able to keep an eye out for what they might be doing wrong. They purchased the property blah blah but now I have to put up with noise, dirt and possible damage from their work??
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 2:17 PM
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Haha great first post, I think you came to the wrong forum. So wait your dealing with dirt and your upset that other people want to live in a house in the same neighbourhood were you currently reside? That seems fair and appropriate. If they have damaged your house, then of course it is a problem and required reprimanding, however my your own language it sounds as if your unsure and perhaps not being honest....

P.S.

Property rights, they own that land; you own yours.
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  #3  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 2:29 PM
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I am not trying to infringe on their rights to build but just don't want my rights infringed. Perhaps you could direct me to a more appropriate forum? I found this forum looking for info on the development. If I come off a certain way that could be because when we bought this place earlier this year we were told it would be years before anything was built there but less than a month after moving here and they've already started. I was hoping to get a least one summer without construction going on back there. So much for sitting out on the deck while the corp who bought the land doesn't have live there or deal with anything other than getting the job done. I don't think they are very sympathetic to the disturbance to the properties around them at all. Not to mention they've cut down all sorts of very old trees, which I am surprised the city allowed but I guess its all a money game. Do I not deserve to be able to sit in my backyard without being covered in dust and listening to heavy machinery constantly beeping?
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  #4  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 2:29 PM
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Well, buying a property in the firstplace adjacent to an empty lot (That ISN'T protected land/forest) is basically breaking real estate rule numer one...location, location, location. If the land isn't protected, and especially, if it's zoned for anything other than residential, then there's nothing that can be said/done. The individual took the risk to buy beside it or near it, and they are losing out.

I think the same can be said for people that buy homes in the flight path of the airport, or in the Glebe, within earshot of Lansdowne. Nobody forced you to buy in those locations, and you knew what was there, and what could potentially be there. Too bad, so sad.
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 2:33 PM
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If there is risk of physical damage to your home (due to blasting perhaps), the developer will send around people to document the current state of surrounding properties for insurance purposes. It sounds like this likely won't be an issue though. If they do damage your property, they would be liable for that. If you are concerned about it, make careful observations and take pictures before and after.

Otherwise, they are governed by the same by-laws you are. You can take a look at the noise by-law (http://ottawa.ca/en/licence_permit/b...ise/index.html) to see what restrictions apply; however, note that it is possible to receive exemptions under limited circumstances.

Edit to add: it might be worthwhile to have some perspective on this as well. Most of us on here aren't fans of this sort of development either, but if you just bought a new home in an adjacent development, trees were cut down and neighbours were inconvenienced for your home to get built as well. Buying into a new suburban development is part of the problem because it generates demand for more of it to be built (hence why you are going to have to put up with construction for the next little while). A little humility would be welcome.
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  #6  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 3:29 PM
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I can sympathize. Property rights notwithstanding, living beside a construction site can really stink.

A few years ago, we were looking after a house across the street from the construction of three very large (north of 2500 sq ft) infill houses, and we frequently had problems with construction noise outside of the permitted hours, lots of litter and debris thrown or blown into our yard, and a couple of instances of trespassing which were paired with the former complaints for a double-whammy (e.g., workers unloading ladders onto our driveway at 5:30 AM, and workers eating their lunch on our patio and leaving their garbage in the backyard -- hey, it was the only shade since they cut down all the trees around the construction site, right?).

Ah memories.

Anyway, my advice: read the bylaw that Jeremy linked to, get to know the 311 operator if they violate the rules or your rights, and pour yourself a nice cocktail to help keep the perspective that Jeremy reminded you of: your house was once a construction site too; all things must pass.
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  #7  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 3:58 PM
jaz jaz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremy_haak View Post
If there is risk of physical damage to your home (due to blasting perhaps), the developer will send around people to document the current state of surrounding properties for insurance purposes. It sounds like this likely won't be an issue though. If they do damage your property, they would be liable for that. If you are concerned about it, make careful observations and take pictures before and after.

Otherwise, they are governed by the same by-laws you are. You can take a look at the noise by-law (http://ottawa.ca/en/licence_permit/b...ise/index.html) to see what restrictions apply; however, note that it is possible to receive exemptions under limited circumstances.

Edit to add: it might be worthwhile to have some perspective on this as well. Most of us on here aren't fans of this sort of development either, but if you just bought a new home in an adjacent development, trees were cut down and neighbours were inconvenienced for your home to get built as well. Buying into a new suburban development is part of the problem because it generates demand for more of it to be built (hence why you are going to have to put up with construction for the next little while). A little humility would be welcome.
I try to have some perspective but its hard at times when I now wake up to the beeping sounds and today they ran over the birdfeeder that was back there. Sure it was on what is now their land but we never got anything that said to remove what was back there. Perhaps that could be the fault of the previous owners as they tried to play dumb and when filling out the seller info forms they said they were not aware of any upcoming development in the area...we feel a bit miffed as the previous owners had almost 20 years of the quiet field and as soon as we get here its construction city.

This is the first time we've bought a home and now we feel totally powerless as to what may tower over us blocking out the sun in the near future. Its all a bit stressful as we were pretty naive as to what it all entails.

Our home was built in 1993, its not really a "new" area but the field behind us was sold a couple years ago apparently and they just recently got the rezoning approved and off they go. judging by the size of the field we'll have to put up with it for years to come. A great way to start out with your first home. We only got to sit on the deck one day so far since we've lived here and now that they're working up all the dust, the summer doesn't look very appealing.

anyways, if garbage starts showing up in the backyard or they are clearly violating by-laws i guess 311 is the number to call?
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  #8  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 4:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaz View Post
I try to have some perspective but its hard at times when I now wake up to the beeping sounds and today they ran over the birdfeeder that was back there. Sure it was on what is now their land but we never got anything that said to remove what was back there.
bwahaha.. I'm sorry, this was just too funny. You knew it wasn't on YOUR land and was on THEIR land, why would you expect them to care enough to figure out if it was yours (as opposed to belonged to the previous land owner) and ask you to remove your stuff from THEIR land? You knew they were developing the lands, why would you not remove it yourself when you had the chance? I don't even need to go into the illegalities of placing something on someone else's land without permission. Ridiculous.

Quote:
Perhaps that could be the fault of the previous owners as they tried to play dumb and when filling out the seller info forms they said they were not aware of any upcoming development in the area...we feel a bit miffed as the previous owners had almost 20 years of the quiet field and as soon as we get here its construction city.
You have no one to blame but yourselves and perhaps your real estate agent. You are responsible to researching the area where YOU are purchasing in.


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Originally Posted by jaz View Post
This is the first time we've bought a home and now we feel totally powerless as to what may tower over us blocking out the sun in the near future. Its all a bit stressful as we were pretty naive as to what it all entails.
Instead of whining and having fears about it now, you should try to figure out what is going to be built behind you (I'll bet it's a bunch of detached houses like yours). It's not like you have any say in what has apparently already been approved (with public consultation at the time of application) at this point. Go talk to the City Planning Department and ask to see the Plan of Subdivision for that area.

The only thing you can do now is as mentioned by Jeremy.
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  #9  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 4:38 PM
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bwahaha.. I'm sorry, this was just too funny. You knew it wasn't on YOUR land and was on THEIR land, why would you expect them to care enough to figure out if it was yours (as opposed to belonged to the previous land owner) and ask you to remove your stuff from THEIR land? You knew they were developing the lands, why would you not remove it yourself when you had the chance? I don't even need to go into the illegalities of placing something on someone else's land without permission. Ridiculous.
I didn't put it there, the previous owners did. I've only been living here a little over a month. There are many others down the row who all did the similar things.


Quote:
You have no one to blame but yourselves and perhaps your real estate agent. You are responsible to researching the area where YOU are purchasing in.
I am more disappointed in the sellers agent rather than ours. The sellers knew there was going to be development as everyone in the neighborhood was notified as I found out from my neighbor after moving here (perhaps thats why they were selling) but they still said they were unaware of any future development in the area. I'm not sure if thats the fault of our agent as its the sellers agent who assists them in filling it out. I did do my own research however didn't realize it would be starting so quickly. i guess they are trying to beat all the government job lay offs perhaps.


Quote:
Instead of whining and having fears about it now, you should try to figure out what is going to be built behind you (I'll bet it's a bunch of detached houses like yours). It's not like you have any say in what has apparently already been approved (with public consultation at the time of application) at this point. Go talk to the City Planning Department and ask to see the Plan of Subdivision for that area.

The only thing you can do now is as mentioned by Jeremy.
I knew there was going to be building going on there at some point but from what i read it didn't seem like it would happen until 2014. like i said i just wanted one summer, just one but no. I know there will be detached homes behind us, I just don't know how far apart they will be from us, what kind of sun we will still get and how big these homes will actually be. we are in a townhouse so i doubt it will be similar to ours.
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 6:05 PM
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This is the first time I've actually heard someone concerned about shadowing from a single-detached dwelling! Unless the house were on a hill or something, how could this possibly be a problem?

I guess there's a first for everything...
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  #11  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 6:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaz View Post
I didn't put it there, the previous owners did. I've only been living here a little over a month. There are many others down the row who all did the similar things.


I am more disappointed in the sellers agent rather than ours. The sellers knew there was going to be development as everyone in the neighborhood was notified as I found out from my neighbor after moving here (perhaps thats why they were selling) but they still said they were unaware of any future development in the area. I'm not sure if thats the fault of our agent as its the sellers agent who assists them in filling it out. I did do my own research however didn't realize it would be starting so quickly. i guess they are trying to beat all the government job lay offs perhaps.



I knew there was going to be building going on there at some point but from what i read it didn't seem like it would happen until 2014. like i said i just wanted one summer, just one but no. I know there will be detached homes behind us, I just don't know how far apart they will be from us, what kind of sun we will still get and how big these homes will actually be. we are in a townhouse so i doubt it will be similar to ours.
If you want info on the project, the first thing to check is by going here: http://app01.ottawa.ca/postingplans/home.jsf?lang=en and search by the name of your ward; hopefully the site plan at least will still be there. Otherwise, call your councillor and their office can get you the info.
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 7:05 PM
jaz jaz is offline
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This is the first time I've actually heard someone concerned about shadowing from a single-detached dwelling! Unless the house were on a hill or something, how could this possibly be a problem?

I guess there's a first for everything...
Maybe its not a problem. I really don't know much about it to be honest. There is nothing there now, I get great lighting. When there is a two story home less than 50 feet away, what will change? I can only assume it will cast a shadow to some degree at least.
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 7:38 PM
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when we bought this place earlier this year we were told it would be years before anything was built there but less than a month after moving here and they've already started.
Sounds to me like whoever told you that either whoever told you that wasn't being honest (or maybe just too lazy to find out). If they were less than a month away from construction then the building permit process would have been well advanced (or probably complete) and either of the agents could have gotten the details. I'm sure the builder would have been happy to share such information too (because they have houses to sell). Moreover, the seller probably received some sort of notification from the builder or the city (which may be why they sold). But the agents are probably very adept at getting out of such things, so there probably isn't much you could do (and it sounds like you don't have anything in writing). Maybe your story will help other first time buyers learn something.
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 9:36 PM
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troll
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Old Posted Apr 11, 2012, 1:35 AM
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Maybe its not a problem. I really don't know much about it to be honest. There is nothing there now, I get great lighting. When there is a two story home less than 50 feet away, what will change? I can only assume it will cast a shadow to some degree at least.
You're kidding right? Cuz they're going to build a two storey house up against the rear lot line and not provide a rear yard for them? Let's use some common sense here...
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Old Posted Apr 11, 2012, 2:29 AM
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If you believe that a real estate agent lied to you, you may be able to complain to the Canadian Real Estate Association.
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Old Posted Apr 11, 2012, 1:21 PM
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If you believe that a real estate agent lied to you, you may be able to complain to the Canadian Real Estate Association.
The Real Estate Council of Ontario has a complaint process. You can access it through their website.

CREA has a fairly detailed code of ethics in place - if the agent appears to have breached that code, it can form the basis for a complaint.
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Old Posted Apr 11, 2012, 2:16 PM
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You're kidding right? Cuz they're going to build a two storey house up against the rear lot line and not provide a rear yard for them? Let's use some common sense here...
from what i've read the backyards are only required to be 7.5 meters, roughly 25 feet deep and my backyard is pretty small itself. I'm not really sure of the exacy depth from the back of the house to the fence but its probably not more than 25-35 feet.
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Old Posted Apr 11, 2012, 2:18 PM
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It sounds like part of your concern is related to disturbance due to construction, such as noise, drainage, dust, etc. The construction will have to abide by City by-laws, such as noise (cannot start before certain time, cannot continue after certain time).

You can call 411 the City's service desk, explain your conerns and you'll get redirected, probably more than once. Providing an address will help. For example, noise is handled by by-law enforcement, drainage by engineering, etc. If there was a development application you can ask to speak with the planning department and obtain a copy of the site plan/subdivision agreement that will outline standard clauses such as disturbance and drainage. It's not plain language and reads like a contract, which it is. You'll have to interpret these yourself and ensure the construction follows suit. If not call the City.

WRT trees, municipalities often do not have tree cutting by-laws. Or perhaps the trees that were cut were not healthy, were an invasive species or needed to come down for construction staging and will be replaced after construction.

You don't have rights on another property except for impacts therefrom. That's where the noise by-law and drainage requirements above come in.

Due to north american sun angles there should be no shadowing impact even if the houses were south of you during spring, summer and fall. Maybe in winter when sun sits lower (still doubt it) but most folks don't use their backyards during the winter.
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Old Posted Apr 11, 2012, 2:36 PM
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The Real Estate Council of Ontario has a complaint process. You can access it through their website.

CREA has a fairly detailed code of ethics in place - if the agent appears to have breached that code, it can form the basis for a complaint.
I don't know if its the agents fault really. The sellers incorrectly filled out the seller info form. They said they were unaware of any developments and that no renovations had been done, both which were untrue. Is the sellers agent responsible for that?
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