Alfred Heim
Published On: Tue, Jun 23rd, 2015

Proposed By-law May Eliminate Homeowner’s Right to Appeal Yard Maintenance Work Order by Reg Coffey

 

Long Sault – In a rare Monday night meeting the South Stormont Township Council followed a full agenda. The first item on the agenda after opening the meeting with the Lord’s Prayer was a $2500 cheque presentation from Union Gas. The cheque was towards the purchase of a piece of firefighting equipment. Also Fire Chief Crepeau introduced the new Fire Prevention Officer, Michel Bickerstaffe, to the council.

Fire Chief Gilles Crepeau,  Chris Doig Union Gas

Fire Chief Gilles Crepeau, Chris Doig Union Gas

The most discussed item on the agenda was the proposed “Keep South Stormont Beautiful” by-law. Municipal Law Enforcement Officer Andrew Downing presented the proposed by-law to the council explaining that the new by-law would expedite enforcement of the property standards by eliminating the time consuming appeal process that property owners can now utilize under the current Property Standards By-law. Councillor Waldroff and Deputy Mayor Hart expressed concern about removing property owners right to appeal. After a lengthy discussion it was decided to bring the discussion back to committee and revisit the proposed by-law at a future meeting.

Comments/Observations for Proposed By-law:

  1. A “Keep South Stormont Beautiful By-law” will deal with the maintenance of the exterior of the property, for example, ground cover, hedges and trees, garbage and debris, un-plated/ derelict vehicles, graffiti, etc.

  2. The compliance timelines in a yard maintenance by-law can be reduced. For example, days for compliance are usually 10 to 12 days. After the deadline, the Township can enter onto the property, complete the required work required or hire a contractor and add the cost to the property tax account.

  3. There is no appeal process with a yard maintenance by-law.

  4. The work order can be mailed out regular mail or served personally on the owner of the property; registered mail is not required.

  5. A title search is not required, the assessment roll is sufficient to determine ownership.

  6. The objective of the “Keep South Stormont Beautiful By-law” is to achieve compliance in the most efficient and cost effective manner.”

 

The entire agenda and information packages for this meeting can be accessed at:

http://www.southstormont.ca/_uploads/media/5334wllz8.pdf

The next council meeting is on July 15th beginning at 6:00 PM.