Veteran told to remove wheelchair ramp after neighbour complains
Published Tuesday, May 21, 2013 6:56PM ADT
A military veteran has been told to remove a wheelchair accessible ramp from his property at a Dartmouth trailer park, after receiving permission to build it.
Frederick Randall says his wheelchair helps him maintain his quality of life for now and he expects he will be confined to it one day.
“I’m a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces and my back was injured,” he says.
Randall has lung disease, suffered a heart attack and, among other ailments, he lives with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I take 28 different prescriptions a day,” he says.
Veterans Affairs bought him the wheelchair and suggested he get a ramp, so Randall filled out all the necessary paperwork and asked the landowners for permission to build it.
“I’ve showed her how it was being built, where it was being constructed and everything else and she said that’s fine by me.”
But recently he received a letter saying the ramp needs to be removed, after a neighbour complained.
“He was told that he had to keep the distance from the other trailer,” says trailer park owner Bill Whebby.
The Randalls own their home, but Whebby owns the property in the trailer park. He says they can keep the ramp, but suggests cutting into the deck to create more space between the two homes.
“No issue with him having a wheelchair ramp at all…(the issue is) that it’s encroaching on the other person’s lot,” says Whebby.
“Under the building code there are no regulations that would prohibit the construction of a deck based on its proximity to another single-family dwelling, so, from our perspective, the siting of the ramp was perfectly accessible and that’s why we did issue the permit,” says HRM spokesperson Tiffany Chase.
Jean-Christophe de Le Rue, a spokesperson for Veterans Affairs, released the following statement on Tuesday night:
"Veterans who have served Canada should not have to fight when they get home to use the tools that they need for their daily life. We encourage Canadians to show compassion towards those who were injured while serving their country."
Randall says he doesn’t have the money to move the ramp and he’s willing to fight, even if it means going to court.
“If I lose my ramp then I have no means to get out into society.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell