JIS News

The Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) is coming down hard on persons, who continue to flout the city’s building regulations.
Kingston’s Mayor, Senator Desmond McKenzie, yesterday (Oct. 12) announced that in the aftermath of the recent heavy rains associated with Tropical Storm Nicole, stop orders have been issued for a number of projects, while action will be taken against others.
Among the projects that have been brought to a halt, is the construction of a home at Rainbow Crescent in Norbrook, St. Andrew, where the retaining wall collapsed during the torrential rains, killing three labourers.
The Mayor, who was addressing the Council’s monthly meeting downtown Kingston, said that while approval was granted for the construction of the house, the retaining wall was never authorised by the KSAC. “As a matter of fact, it was never even submitted as part of the building application,” he told the Council.
Consequently, he said, the City Engineer has issued an immediate stop order on that development, pointing out that “no further work will be allowed to go on because, from a technical standpoint, the entire building has been compromised because of what took place.”
The developer has been instructed to undertake a technical assessment for submission to the Council, thereafter, the technical team will decide on the next course of action.
Senator McKenzie informed further that the City Engineer’s department is in the process of taking action against 34 other structures, while 22 orders have been issued for the demolition of buildings, consequent on “what took place over the last couple of weeks.”
Chastising persons, who continue to build without submitting the relevant plans to the local planning authority, and securing the requisite approvals, the Mayor said that no longer will the Council put up “with this wanton disregard for law and order. The dictates of the Council are being ignored and those people who are ignoring the Council are (now) paying a high price for it”.
He said he was particularly incensed by the behaviour of persons residing in upper St. Andrew, who were engaging in this practice, and whom, he contended, ought to know better.
“Every year, we talk about the same set of people. We talk about New Haven, we talk about Riverton City, we talk about Taylor Lands. Let us talk about upscale St. Andrew,” he said.
The Mayor also made it clear said that the KSAC will not be “railroaded” into granting building approvals for developments without the requisite due diligence being undertaken by all parties concerned.
“I want to issue a warning to the public; this Council is not going to be railroaded by any public sentiment, whether in the media or any (other) quarter, about the length of time we take to grant building approvals in the city. This Council has to take a level of responsibility to ensure that, whatever approval is granted (is consistent with what the law dictates),” Senator McKenzie stated.

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