A proposed combined bylaw on property maintenance and noxious weeds, created by town staff as a way to update an old bylaw, was instead sent back to staff to be split into two bylaws.
At council’s March 7 committee of the whole meeting, staff brought forward a proposed rewritten bylaw on property maintenance that would have included addressing noxious weeds such as Scotch broom.
Planning director Luke Sales said the direction for this bylaw came from a council direction last year to bring forward “something that would prohibit Scotch broom.”
Sales said the town’s current property maintenance bylaw is out of date, and instead of creating a new bylaw to address only Scotch broom, staff decided to combine the two.
Coun. Neil Horner, a council advocate for the removal of invasive broom, said while he wanted a separate bylaw, this proposed bylaw seemed positive.
However, as discussions on the bylaw went on, council members expressed a number of concerns relating to property maintenance.
Coun. Anne Skipsey said she thought it was good that a graffiti removal timeline was included, but she thought graffiti should be separated into two categories and graffiti with hate or profanity should have a shorter timeline for cleanup.
“Studies have shown that when markings are left, there’s almost a 100 per cent chance (additional) graffiti marking will be placed in that site or close by, so timing is definitely important,” she said.
Skipsey asked if the graffiti removal was on a complaint basis, and Sales said it was.
Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer took issue with property maintenance being performed on a complaint basis. Luchtmeijer said the property maintenance bylaw should be applied to everyone equally.
As the discussions continued, Horner said this was why he wanted a separate bylaw for noxious weeds. He said a separate bylaw would make a simple problem easy to resolve, while the combined bylaw is a “recipe for getting nothing done.”
At the end of the meeting, the committee of the whole directed staff to have the two issues, property maintenance and noxious weeds, split into two bylaws but to still include anything discussed at the March 7 meeting.