Unsightly premises bylaw raises questions 

Written by Sarah Baker

Discussion regarding the unsightly premises bylaw brought to council during the July 12 regular meeting, was discussed at the Aug. 9 regular meeting.

Deputy Mayor Melody Christofferson thought the new bylaw read well.

A discussion led by Coun. Jordan Elliot asked if plants on property that extend to sidewalks are the village’s responsibility.

Christofferson outlines that it would cost the village to maintain a private individual’s property.

Additional discussion about how long a property owner has before action is taken was led by Elliot.

CAO Bill Wulff and Christofferson discussed the possibility of having people who offer lawn care services extend their services to trimming hedges and shrubbery blocking sidewalks in the village.

Council agreed that plants of property owners that are obscuring or blocking paths, signs and sidewalks in the village should be addressed before winter.

Christofferson outlined that according to the bylaw, property owners are responsible for the upkeep of the property
Mayor David Sisley mentioned that some of the responsibilities fall under the village.

Concerns were also raised the issue of trees and shrubbery covering signs.

Mayor Sisley mentioned that there might be some concerns regarding residents who complain about the village that planted trees and how they might argue that the village is responsible for their maintenance.

Coun. Elliot agrees that the village should be responsible for the trees on the boulevard.

Council discussed where to draw lines of responsibility for the village and residents.

If responsibility falls to the village, it becomes responsible for maintaining properties the village would have to find a way to pay for the services.

If people refuse to follow the bylaw by properly maintaining their property, council discussed the possibility of raising taxes to accommodate paying for services to maintain them.

Council plans to address the more urgent issues involving plants that block street signs as they are a safety concern.
Plans to amend the bylaw will take place in the following months.

Pet bylaw  

Council discussed the animal control bylaw for pets in the community and a resident with turkeys.

According to the bylaw, although the resident cannot hold the turkeys, designation through the Village Use Bylaw and approval through the development officer or municipal planning commission would permit them.

They possess two turkeys on their property intending to use them for Thanksgiving.

Deputy Mayor Christofferson is concerned about the turkeys and if they are properly enclosed and cannot wander the village.
CAO Wulff also mentioned that the resident is concerned about a family of foxes in the area.

Council is aware of the various foxes in the village but intends not to take any action on them as their presence helps with gophers, crows and other wildlife in the area.

Council believes that the responsibility of the turkeys is up to the owner.

Discussion on pet licenses and dangerous dogs were presented as it was raised that their a a few dogs of concern.
Council agrees that the bylaw is well written and should be enforced as soon as possible.

One amendment that Christofferson suggested was to raise the fines by $50 to cover bylaw officer costs. Mayor Sisley agreed with the suggestion.

Amendments will be made and brought back to council.

Daniel Gonzalez,
ECA Review

About the author

Sarah Baker

Sarah Baker graduated from the Holland College Journalism and Communications program in May of 2021. From there she worked with other organizations as a multimedia journalist. 

Sarah joined the ECA Review in November of 2022 and comes from Castor, Alta.