Bylaw No. 14 of 2007, The Property Amenities Bylaw, is administered and enforced by the Municipal Bylaw Enforcement Unit and can consume as high as 50% of our Bylaw Officers time in investigations.
Unsightly property is property that, in the opinion of a Bylaw Enforcement Officer, is detrimental to the surrounding area because of its unsightly condition or is determined to be a nuisance, which means a condition of a property; a thing; or an activity that effects the amenity of a neighborhood or the safety, health and welfare of people in the neighborhood, and includes:
- Overgrown grass and weeds.
- Vegetation that interferes with the use or visibility of street signage, sidewalks, road clearance, municipal works or public utilities.
- Wrecked or dismantled vehicles including vehicles that are inoperative or unregistered.
- Storage or accumulation of garbage, litter refuse, dilapidated furniture or appliances, machinery parts or similar items.
- Specific or general lack of repair or maintenance of the property that includes buildings in ruinous or dilapidated states of repair and/or unoccupied and are imminent danger to public safety.
- Open excavations dangerous to the public safety and health.
- Permitting graffiti to remain on any building, accessory building, fence or any other structure.
Pursuant to this Bylaw and The Cities Act, should Bylaw Enforcement Officers inspect and find conditions that warrant remedies, written Orders requiring the property owner to remedy the contravention(s) are served, predominately via registered mail. Orders specify what remedies are required in a specified time period. Upon receipt of the Order, property owners have 15 days from the date of the Order in which they may appeal to City Council or the appeal board as may be appointed by Council.
In cases of buildings that are in ruinous or dilapidated states of repair and/or unoccupied and are imminent danger to public safety, demolition may be ordered.
In the event of non-compliance, property owners are liable for prosecution and could face fines as high as $10,000.00 for individuals, and $25,000.00 in the case of a corporation. In cases of continuing offences, fines as high as $2,500.00 for each day during which the offence continues. Additionally, the City may cause the property to be cleaned up and bill the owner for the costs of the clean up which may be added to Tax Roll.
Orders issued pursuant to this Bylaw since the inception of the Unit in October of 2006 have realized 94.5% compliance. In 2010, compliance was 97%.
Further information about the Property Amenities Bylaw may be obtained by calling the Municipal Bylaw Enforcement Unit office at 953-4906.