Environmental dispute costs family thousands

An Ontario family that bought a cottage lot on P.E.I. is appealing a decision by the province, which says their lot has turned into a wetland.

Building permit for cottage revoked for environmental protection

The province argues the lot next to the Inderwicks has turned into a wetland. (CBC)

An Ontario family that bought a cottage lot on P.E.I. is appealing a decision by the province, which says their lot has turned into a wetland.

Under the provincial legislation, building is not allowed on a wetland. The family is taking its case to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission.

The Inderwicks can see and hear the ocean from their deck. (CBC)

Andrew and Lisa Inderwick bought two cottage lots 10 years ago in a subdivision in Maximeville, west of Summerside. They built a cottage on one lot and hoped to build another once they could afford it. They can see and hear the ocean from their front deck. Their plan was to have a spot where they and their daughters could come well into the future.

They had building permits for both lots, and after building on the first one renewed the permit on the vacant lot every two years.

After checking in with the province one final time and confirming their permit, the Inderwicks dumped fill on the second lot and prepared to build. But the province ruled the lot was now a wetland, revoked the permit, and ordered that the fill be removed.

"I don't think that our lot is what the environmental policies and the wetland protection are all about," said Andrew Inderwick.

"There are certainly areas that need protecting, dune grass for instance, but our third of an acre in the middle of a subdivision doesn't seem to meet that criteria."

Inderwick said their lot is one of the last to be developed so water naturally does accumulate there.

Putting in the fill and having it removed has cost the Inderwicks more than $12,000.

Provincial officials did not want to comment on the matter, which will be dealt with on Thursday by IRAC.

For mobile device users:Is the province right to protect a cottage lot that has turned into a wetland?

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