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Revoked building permits appeal delayed for investigation

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A city committee has laid over an appeal regarding revoked building permits after the builder alleged he bought falsified blueprints from a city building inspector.

In late December, the city revoked three of Hollywood Homes, Inc.'s building permits for homes on Pritchard and Bowman avenues and Chevrier Boulevard after officials discovered submitted drawings had "been deliberately altered" to indicate they were approved by an engineer.

The city has revoked all three building permits, and ordered Hollywood Homes to stop construction and obtain a new building permit. Alternatively, the builder could obtain a permit to demolish all construction.

Last week, Hollywood Homes, Inc. owner Dave Haner alleged he purchased the blueprints with a false engineering seal from a city building inspector. He said two of the homes are already occupied by families.

Haner was scheduled to appeal the city orders at council's property committee meeting this morning.

City property director Barry Thorgrimson asked that the committee lay the matter over until March to allow time to investigate the allegations.

Thorgrimson said the department wants to do a complete review to find out what happened. He said he's not aware of any past instances where Winnipeg has dealt with falsified engineering reports, noting it is a serious matter.

Thorgrimson said the review will examine the structural integrity of the homes to ensure they are not in jeopardy, the legal aspects of the engineering seal, and the code of conduct of employees.

"We take it very seriously and we're certainly not going to jump to any conclusions but we'll go through complete due diligence and act appropriately," he said, noting he will not discuss personnel issues publicly.

Last year, Winnipeg introduced a new approval process to speed up the time it takes to get a building permit. The new strategy puts more onus on property owners and commercial builders to ensure their designs meet building-code requirements.

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Updated on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 10:31 AM CST: updates with full writethru

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