An infill home under construction in Edmonton’s Alberta Avenue neighbourhood is causing friction between neighbours, four years after construction began and without a clear completion date.
Work began on the project at 11535 95A St. N.W. in the fall of 2014, according to the builder — Singhmar Developments. It ran into building code issues during framing, halting progress.
A serious fall suffered by the contractor caused further delays. Following recovery from his injuries, higher-priority projects and a lack of manpower kept the site at a standstill.
“We recognize this is a disgrace,” contractor Gaurav Singhmar told Global News over the phone on Friday. “We will fix it.”
The building permit has now expired, preventing work until it is reissued.
A pond — complete with cattails — has formed in a pit in the front yard. According to the developer, pigeons infested the house last year due to its lack of exterior cladding, which cannot be installed without a valid building permit.
Kelly Mykietka, who lives next door with her husband, said she finds dead pigeons on her property.
“I don’t know what kind of stuff is growing amidst the swamp and whatever else is in the backyard,” she said. “I try not to think about it.”
Mykietka also said part of her fence has collapsed into the construction site because of its proximity.
City cannot compel construction
The City of Edmonton told Global News in an email that it cannot compel builders to finish construction. The city said it can only ensure minimum property and safety standards and that it prefers working with homeowners and builders to gain voluntary compliance. However, the city can seek remedial action if necessary.
Regarding the property in question, the city said it is aware of concerns being raised about it but cannot reveal specific details due to privacy regulations and to preserve the integrity of active investigations.
The developer said they hope to have a new building permit by mid-October. If that happens, they said that would make completion possible by spring.
“In a year from now, this will be a finished project and it will grace the neighbourhood,” Singhmar said. “It will bring a quality and style to the neighbourhood.”