Home > pimply minions of bureaucracy > Never Mind the Nanny State, Now we Have the Granny State.

Never Mind the Nanny State, Now we Have the Granny State.

October 1st, 2009

When John Newton co-purchased a  single family home with his son Ian twelve years ago, he thought he was helping secure his future. In the intervening years, Ian married and had children. John and his wife Loretta moved into a converted garage, which was built, with all applicable permits in place in 2000.  Already having city inspector approved electrical, plumbing, heating &tc., in 2002 they added kitchen cupboard and a stove and moved themselves in, leaving Ian and his growing family the house.

Aging parents living with their children in a granny flat. A perfect arrangement.

But when the city of Cambridge discovered the arrangement, they had a different take on matters. In my hometown of Cambridge, Ontario your parents cannot move in with you unless you seek permission of the city. For a non-refundable fee of $3,000, you can ask the pimply minions of bureaucracy if it’s alright to move your parents in. If they decline your request, you are out $3,000. Furthermore, if they allow your request, your home tax bill will increase permanently, even after your parents no longer live under your roof.

Newton received an eviction notice from the city, an order to leave a residence he owns half of, because he didn’t ask permission of the city to live in his own house.

In much of the world, a man’s home is his castle. Here in Cambridge Ontario, a man’s home is mayor Doug Craig’s castle who, upon Newton’s persistent complaining sent him an e-mail stating:

Mr. Newton: I do not wish to hear any more nonsense from you.
(Signed) Mayor Craig.

Doug Craig can be e-mailed at CraigD@city.cambridge.on.ca

It is a vile, Jacobian, jumped up Jack-in-Office piece of impertinence… by the pimply minions of bureaucracy

Indeed it is.

More here, here and oh yea, here.

Cross Posted to Libertas Post

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  1. October 1st, 2009 at 21:11 | #1

    So lets see if I have this right – non-family can live in the suite but not family. Solution disown the children and change your name. Bureaucrats exist to grip their empire. Cheers.

  2. johndoe124
    October 1st, 2009 at 21:22 | #2

    Prime example of why this country needs private property rights.

  3. Lou
    October 1st, 2009 at 21:29 | #3

    I have empathy for this family and maybe question the amount of the $3000 fee, but improvements are taxed. Actually, I am not sure that it would be fair to let people just create a new apartment out of a garage without revealing that it was going to be a new residence, which could be a future rental property. Is the correct zoning in place? Assuming that it is, improvements on the land normally do get re-assessed for taxes. Under most municipal rules, this is the case (a parking lot turned into a high rise is re-assessed).

    It sounds like this family did not review the rules first. Newton is not living in the house he purchased; he is living in a new garage-house. Were he living in the unimproved basement or a bedroom, sharing the house with the kids, this would not be an issue.

    On the city’s part, eviction notices are not cool, so cooler heads need to prevail. A negotiator should be sent out to explain why Newton needs to pay the fee/taxes. Hopefully he will understand and live happily ever after in his new home. It sound like the property has been a good investment for the family, as the granny suite will cost them far less than a separate property.

    Some thoughts from a person who lived in Ontario, but not at present.

  4. skuleman
    October 1st, 2009 at 23:28 | #4

    We’re currently looking for a place to build/buy a retirement home. We have to work on the assumption parents may have to live with us someday, so I guess that means Cambridge is off the list.

    Since real estate agents are required by law to disclose all negative information about a property, advising every Cambridge area real estate agent of this should then force them to apprise every potential Cambridge homeowner of the restriction. I’m sure that would have an interesting impact on the local real estate values 🙂

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