Nearly four months after a wildfire ripped through Fort McMurray, residents in two of the hardest hit neighbourhoods have been given the green light to rebuild.
After the wildfire, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo put a temporary restriction in place for all development permits in Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways. As of Thursday, the temporary restriction was lifted in Abasand and Beacon Hill.
Residents who obtain the proper permits will be able to rebuild immediately.
“It’s humongous,” Sandra Legacy, who lives in the Abasand neighbourhood said. Legacy lost her home in the wildfire and can’t wait to rebuild.
“It’s not only the foundation. We are at the very beginning of September. Foundation, floors, walls, the exterior structure of a home – a duplex even – two weeks and it’s up. So it could be framed completely, doors and windows in, before the snow flies. That is fantastic news.”
The permits will allow for the immediate pouring of foundations or placement of pilings. The rest of the rebuild can begin after council officially removes the restriction on Sept. 20.
“This is an important step forward for our residents who have been patiently waiting to begin rebuilding in Abasand and Beacon Hill,” councillor Sheldon Germain, of the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee, said.
“I’m proud of this collaborative effort that allows residents to get started as soon as possible. Every day and week matters and I commend everyone involved for finding a way to start the process sooner than expected.”
The temporary restriction on development permits remains in place for Waterways. The RMWB said additional consideration needs to be given to flood mitigation in the area.