There's no citywide crackdown, but municipal officials have given notice to a handful of Brock homeowners, asking them to remove popular fabric-covered garages or face fines.
A warning letter was sent to a number of homeowners on Parkcrest Avenue and Tranquille Road earlier this month. Now Ryan Messere faces the prospect of leaving his baby — a Dodge Caliber SRT — outside with no cover when it's off the road in winter.
"I baby it and wash it. I really take care of it," said Messere, who discovered his neighbours with fabric-covered structures also recently received letters.
"A guy across the street's had it (structure) for two years and never heard anything."
Messere said he's still trying to get answers from the City about the crackdown on his neighbourhood.
Another Tranquille Road resident, Kevin Baitz, said he has had his structure 15 years, replacing the fabric at least three times. He keeps lawn and garden equipment as well as his kids' bikes under cover.
"My yard is immaculate," said Baitz. "If I didn't put my stuff in that building it would be a big mess."
Community development supervisor Randy Lambright said Monday the City is responding to complaints from neighbours who object to the structures.
"We don't go out looking for these things," said Lambright, acknowledging the structures exist throughout the city in limited numbers.
Fabric-covered buildings are permitted only in industrial areas within the city. Lambright said concerns include safety as well as aesthetics.
"Some of these things you can't get a building permit for. They can pick up and blow away in a wind or collapse."
A representative of an online retailer based in Ontario said it's up to buyers to determine whether the structures meet local regulations.
"We tell customers to look into it themselves," said the representative of Give Me Shelter. A typical single garage unit sells for about $1,000.
Messere said he's not certain of his next move.
Lambright said homeowners have the ability to apply for a variance if they want to keep the structures. An application to the City costs $800, however.
Another potential issue is the fact the shelters do not fall under B.C.'s building code.
Despite the move, Lambright said the City's response will remain based on complaints. Even then, if the structures are well hidden it's unlikely the City would take action.
"If they're in a backyard, out of sight and out of mind, we wouldn't worry about it."
Baitz said his structure is tucked in toward the back of his property. His neighbour also has one.