Town of Sidney sets sights on cleaning up yard messes

Request wants Sidney to enforce messy yard bylaw without neighbour complaint.

Residents of Sidney could find it easier in 2016 to report their neighbours’ messy yards.

The municipality will look into ways to make it easier and less intimidating for people to complain about properties that are unkempt or downright dishevelled.

Councillor Mervyn Lougher-Goodey says the Town will revisit its unsightly premises bylaw, adopted in 2008 and currently being reviewed by staff. The bylaw sets out prohibitions to prevent property owners from letting their yards fall below neighbourhood standards — basically a set of regulations to ensure people don’t let their yards go to pot. The bylaw is enforced based on complaints by residents.

Lougher-Goodey said he feels the bylaw needs to be able to accommodate complaints from other sources, so people don’t feel threatened or worried about making such a complaint.

“We should revisit the policy … so that the onus is not just on the neighbours to report,” said Lougher-Goodey.

He added he wants to Town itself to be able to enforce its own bylaw.

Coun. Peter Wainwright said the Town doesn’t need this.

“Anyone, not just neighbours, can complain,” he explained. “Nothing in the policy requires that complaints only come from neighbours.”

Coun. Tim Chad said he doesn’t like the idea of the Town becoming too aggressive in this area.

“Everyone in this small town is a neighbour,” Chad said. “We don’t need to hire any stormtroopers.”

Lougher-Goodey said he thinks there should be less pressure on people who do complain and that the bylaw should be changed to allow Town staff to be able to enforce it directly.

The penalty for not complying with Sidney’s unsightly premises bylaw is a fine of between $100 and $10,000. The bylaw also gives the Town the right, should a property owner fail to comply, to enter a yard, clean it up and bill the owner. If that is not paid by Dec. 31 of any year, the bill will be added to their municipal tax bill.

Council has asked staff to consider enforcement options.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Saanich among six communities facing ‘chronic shortage’ of daycare spaces

Findings appear in a report that also analyzed daycare in Central Saanich and Sidney

VicPD looking for 17-year-old girl, believed to be in downtown Victoria

Circumstance under which she has gone missing are considered to be high-risk

New urgent, primary care health centre opens in Saanich come November

North Quadra area facility to provide same-day, ongoing care for folks without family doctors

Woman arrested for hit and run that left another vehicle in Colwood front lawn

The woman was issued a 24 hour driving prohibition and a ticket

McKenzie interchange project drives towards completion

Motorists asked to continue following construction zone signage as crews will be on site into the fall

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

One person dead in two-vehicle accident in North Island

Highway 19A was closed for several hours north of Courtenay following the crash

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Long-term care need pressuring acute care in Comox Valley, Strathcona

Region could use a couple of large facilities for seniors on the north part of the Island

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

Most Read