Home remodeling without building permits is a popular pastime and cat-and-mouse game in the US, with homeowners trying to avoid increased taxation and building permit fees. Apparently that’s also true elsewhere in the world.
In a a couple of towns on the Australian island of Tasmania, city officials were using Google Earth and Maps “to monitor rate-payer compliance in terms of illegal home renovations, unfenced swimming pools, unregistered pets and unauthorized demolition.”
However the towns have since decided to abandon using the tools because of privacy concerns:
“Not trying to catch people out by spying on them and carrying out measures that destroy trust and privacy,” said local Mayor Adriana Taylor.
Rather they’ll monitor compliance and rules violations the old fashioned way — with people.