Court order to clean up unsightly yard

The County of Stettler moved ahead with a court order to clear an unsightly premises that is alleged to have over 50 derelict vehicles sitting on it. ECA Review/Submitted
Written by Stu Salkeld

The County of Stettler moved ahead with a court order to clear an unsightly premises that is alleged to have over 50 derelict vehicles sitting on it. ECA Review/Submitted

The County of Stettler moved ahead with a court order to clear an unsightly premises that is alleged to have over 50 derelict vehicles sitting on it. The decision was made at the Aug. 12 regular meeting of council.

Staff presented council with a request to get a court order to clean up property owned by Larry Watson and located along Sec. Hwy. #601.

“Protective Services requests authorization to proceed with a Court of Queen’s Bench order for the cleanup of the nuisance/unsightly property located at 19260 Highway 601,” stated the memo prepared by director of protective services and emergency management Lee Hardman.

“On April 20, 2020 a complaint in relation to an unsightly property located at 19260 Highway 601 was filed with protective services. Subsequently a notice of inspection was sent to the property owner Larry Watson.

“May 5, 2020 site inspection was conducted finding the property in violation of the County of Stettler nuisance bylaw. Significant refuse around the property including tires, household debris, vehicle debris, appliances, wood, metal, plastics, lawnmowers, siding, canoes, electronics, large drums, miscellaneous debris. Approximately 50 or more derelict vehicles observed along with several structures in disrepair. Enforcement Order under Section 546 of the Municipal Government Act was personally served to Watson to rectify the concerns outlined on the inspection.

ECA Review/Submitted

“May 27, 2020 a subsequent inspection was conducted. Other than some items on the property being moved around no notable change to the unsightly nature was observed. A second enforcement order providing an extension of 21 days under Section 546 of the Municipal Government Act was personally served to Watson to rectify the concerns outlined on the inspection.

“June 17, 2020 an inspection was conducted. Property was still in the same unsightly state. A Municipal Government Act order was signed and personally served to Watson. He was provided an additional 21 days to comply.

“July 8, 2020 another inspection was conducted. Property still hadn’t been brought into compliance. Watson was informed that the matter would be brought to Council in August to seek a Court of Queen’s Bench Order for the cleanup.”

Andrew Brysiuk, director of municipal services, noted at the meeting it’s possible the property may be sold, and they’re just waiting to see if that happens. He noted the court order was still useful to ensure clean-up costs stay with the seller, not the buyer. Brysiuk also noted the county has been in contact with the prospective buyer.

“This resolves so many issues for us,” said Brysiuk, who showed council photos of the property in question.

After looking at the photos Coun. Les Stulberg said, “That’s the definition of unsightly.”

Councillors unanimously granted staff authority to apply for the court order to clean up the property in question.


Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.