Persons living in residential areas in Georgetown are going commercial without notifying the Engineer’s Department of City Hall. Not only is this illegal, but it also puts others at risk of getting injured or worse. Also, this creates additional burdens for the city’s administration, which will have to divert resources to remedy the problems caused by unsound building modifications.
Relating this state of affairs to Guyana Standard was Mayor and City Council (M&CC), Councillor, Heston Bostwick.
“We are looking at determining commercial and residential residence. We have recognised that persons who would have had a residential property, woke one morning and decided to convert their residential property into a commercial property…And continue to pay the same tax,” he said.
Bostwick told the Guyana Standard that these problems could have been averted had it not been for non-adherence to zoning laws and building codes.
“With the absence of local government elections, there were many neglects, especially when it comes to zoning. Neglect caused many things to go awry. The council continues to incur a loss and we are now faced with the uphill task in trying to fix it,” the Councillor stated.
The city official said that the Council has a plan to address this issue by conducting a citywide property evaluation exercise next year.
“Currently, we are looking at evaluating properties, and in that process, we will be able to deal with those persons who feel that there are no laws to govern them,” Bostwick said while adding that the initiative will help to identify these anomalies and provide the necessary actions to be taken. Bostwick said too, that the council will be making arrangements for this project to be catered for in the 2020 budget.