this letter just deals with one section of queenstown. not the whole of georgetown!
In Kaieteur News of the 23rd July, 2016 I expressed my support and welcomed the decision of the City Councillors to set up a “National Capital Planning Commission to guide the development of the City”. That day has not yet arrived. However, It is hoped that the commissioners will each be provided with a copy of the Georgetown Building By-laws made under the Municipal and District Councils Act Chapter 28:01 and be guided thereby.
The conjoint effect of By Laws 67 — 70 of the Georgetown Building By-Laws mandate firstly, that “No building to be used… for any manufacturing, trade or business shall be erected or built on any lot” (east of Oronoque Street) secondly, “no such building shall be used for any such purpose aforesaid”.
The area “East of Oronoque Street” is bounded on the West by Oronoque Street, on the East by Irving Street, on the North by Lamaha Street and on the South by Church Street which includes from West to East Oronoque, New Garden, Peter Rose and Irving Streets; from North to South — Lamaha, Anira, Laluni, Crown, Lance Gibbs, Forshaw and Church Streets.
There are presently fifty five businesses carrying on “trade or business” within the restricted area East of Oronoque Street in defiance of the By-laws. For example, the following businesses are located in Laluni Streets between New Garden and Peter Rose Streets: a shipping company and a car dealership. In Peter Rose Street between Laluni and Church Streets: a private school, a
security company, a baker shop, a car dealership, a private school and a general store.
A comprehensive list with names of the said businesses is provided hereunder. During the past ten years, residents of Queenstown have seen the Systemic degradation of their Residential District which was created by the Georgetown Building By-laws over fifty years ago. The result of the degradation is due exclusively to misfeasance by the authorities approving applications for building permission in which to carry on trade or business within the restricted area of Queenstown in breach of the building by-laws.
Breach of any of the By-laws is a Criminal offence which the City Engineer is authorised to prosecute.
By-law 77 provides that:
“A person guilty of an offence against these by-laws for which no special penalty is provided, or who in any manner contravenes or fails to comply with the provisions of these by-laws shall be liable to a fine of two hundred dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months.”
By-law 78 provides that:
“The City Engineer is hereby authorised to institute and prosecute any legal proceedings in any court against any person for any breach of these by-laws”.
No discretion is vested in the City Engineer or the Central Housing to waive any of the provisions in the By-laws. The failure of the City Engineer to enforce the law is to aid and abet the breaches committed which is a grave dereliction of duty and a misfeasance in public office.
A public authority cannot exercise a dispensing power by waiving compliance with the law, for this would amount to an unauthorised power of legislation. There is therefore no power or discretion for the City Council, the City Engineer or the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) to waive compliance with any of the Georgetown building by-laws, nor is any such power possessed by a Minister of Government. “The primary rule is that no waiver of rights and no consent or private bargain can give a public authority more power than it legitimately possesses…”.
“…By-laws have the effect of law which it is not within the power of any body which exercises public or quasi-public authority for the time being to dispense with. Such bodies are no more entitled than are private persons to dispense with the law of England; they have no dispensing power whatever, and they are bound by the law like anybody else. Therefore the District Council of St. George were bound by their by-laws, and ought to have said so when this plan was presented to them for their approval.” Yabbicom —v- King (1899) 1 QB 444.
The question arises therefore is whether the present Government with its declared intention to govern by the Rule of Law would allow the said institutional lawlessness to continue or whether they will take pre-emptive action to ensure that such lawlessness should cease forthwith.
The following Companies carry on “trade or business” within the prohibited area East of Oronoque Street, Queenstown in defiance of By-laws 67-70 of the Georgetown Building By-laws:
Amanda Curtains and Bed Clothes
Auto Supplies Co. Bahadur and Co.
Best Buy Auto Sales
C&V Shipping Ltd. Casablanca Shop
Diamond Fire and General Insurance
Federal Management Systems Inc.
Dr. Sen Gupta Guyenterprise
H F D Mining Supplies
Impressions Innogen Energy Integrated Security
International Language Institute
Jack Alli and Sons Josel School
Milady’s House of Beauty and The Closet
Nehemiah Comprehensive School
Paradise Health Bar and Gym
Pooh’s Haven Queenstown Inn
R &T Taxi Services Inc.
RHI Ecogreen and Mecca Ecotech Associates
Royal Real Estate Services
Saj Rice Group
Specom Standby Power Engineering Co.
The G&A Group TechNet Solutions
Valmiki Vidyalaya High School
Variety Woods and Greenheart Ltd.
Vijay’s Hair Salon
Excellence Personal Development
World of Flowers WWF Guianas WUSC Caribbean
Rex H. McKay, S.C.