Weed Whackers Unite ~ The Clean Yards By-law in Elliot Lake is now official

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Keeping Yards Clean in Elliot Lake is now enshrined in the Municipal By-law Code.
The Municipal Council in Elliot Lake on Monday, March 8th, voted unanimously to update heir municipal by-law code framework with two by-laws. One is brand new and is called, ‘The Clean Yards Bylaw’ the other is the ‘Snow and Ice By-law’, which was essentially enhanced.

Both by-laws were brought to the Planning and By-law Committee for study.

Superior Media spoke with Municipal Enforcement Officer Kyle Best, City of Elliot Lake to understand the motivation for the brand new Clean Yards By-Law. Mr. Best’s interview is posted above.

The intent of the Clean Yards By-law is for problematic areas in the community. A previous by-law on the books with respect to yard and property maintenance, had been part of the Building and Property Standards by-law.

Councillor Ed Pearce, Chair of the Committee that studied the issue, said that the intention is not to be heavy-handed. The spirit of the by-law is to create a healthy environment and to be able to remedy a problem more quickly. Municipal enforcement officers will always use discretion and work with a person or property owner.

Municipal Council, Elliot Lake Mayor Dan Marchisella, Councillor Luc Cyr (Deputy Mayor), Councillor Ed Pearce, Councillor Norman Mann, Councillor Sandy Finamore, Councillor Chris Patrie, Councillor Tom Turner

The newly enacted Clean Yards By-law has set 8″ of grass or weeds as a limit for growth.  The ‘Snow and Ice By-law’ and ‘Clean Yards Bylaw’ by-laws apply to both residential and commercial properties and will allow by-law enforcement officers to expedite a process that, until now, has been quite laborious.

Natalie Bray, Director of Clerk and Planning Services, City of Elliot Lake spoke during Monday’s Municipal Council meeting, offering an overview of the Clean Yards By-law. “Currently exterior yard issues have been dealt with through the yards and ground section of the property standards by-law. This can be a long process for smaller yard and maintenance issues. An order is written – and then sent via registered mail to the owner of the property with 3 weeks provided for compliance. Then there is a potential appeal procedure, and as a result, simple enforcement issues can be delayed for several months. Previously, an Order has only been served on the property owner of a building and not the tenants.”

The new clean yards by-law will allow municipal enforcement officers to expedite the manner in which they deal with minor clean-yard maintenance issues.

The motivation for enacting the Clean Yards By-law is to keep yards free of waste, noxious weeds, derelict vehicles, abandoned appliances and other items that, if left, pose a safety risk. The new by-law will provide the City with the ability to deal with yard maintenance problems in a more timely manner.

When a yard is in violation of the Clean Yards By-law, the city will notify the owner or occupants or the property.

They will have 7 days to bring the yard into compliance – Those who do not comply are subject to a fine of $155.00. Property owners will have those fines added to their property tax bill if there is a failure to comply.

Municipal enforcement by-law officers will use their discretion, as is the current practise and time extensions can be allowed for.

Thank you to Natalie Bray for sharing the following information with Superior Media.

City of Elliot Lake Part I Provincial Offences Act By-Law No 21-14: Clean Yards
Permit debris, waste, or garbage in yard 2 (a) – 155.00
2  Permit excessive grass growth in yard 2 (b) – 155.00

3  Permit excessive undergrowth and weeds in yard 2 (c) – 155.00

4  Permit damaged natural growth in yard 2 (d) – 155.00

5  Permit unsafe condition in yard 2 (e) – 155.00

6  Permit broken glass in yard 2 (f) – 155.00

7  Permit hole, pit, excavation or trench in yard 2 (g) – 155.00

8  Permit Inoperative vehicle or machinery in yard 2 (h) – 155.00

9  Permit partially constructed structure in yard 2 (i) – 155.00

10 Permit partially constructed fence in yard 2 (j) – 155.00

11 Permit abandoned or discarded appliances in yard 2 (k) – 155.00

12 Permit post construction materials in yard 2 (l) – 155.00

13 Fail to comply with notice to comply 11 – 155.00

14 Hinder or obstruct enforcement 13  – 305.00