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Debris, unlicenced vehicles keeping new enforcement officer busy

by David Meyer

MAPLETON TWP. - Residents here apparently take pride in their properties - and take umbrage when neighbours let things slide.

The township’s new bylaw enforcement officer Maurita Boyle presented her first report to council on Jan. 10 and detailed the work since she was hired in October.

The properties were identified with a number code and no names were used. Boyle made inspections after receiving complaints about the status of various properties. She currently has 14 ongoing complaints about debris, rubbish and unlicenced vehicles being parked in people’s yards.

Mayor Bruce Whale noted that having junk in a yard seems to be the most common complaint by residents, and “it’s nice to see those are getting cleaned up.”

Boyle reported that she had worked with six owners who had such things as long grass, noxious weeds and vehicles in the yard. She noted she made “several site visits” with all six and those owners have now cleaned up their properties and are in compliance with property standards.

In the four cases that are still open, she noted she is working with the owners and will follow up on the complaints to make sure something is done to clean the properties. In one case she delivered a notice of the problem to the property owner and was told tenants are moving in the spring and clean-up will follow.

Boyle noted in her report that she was involved in only three zoning complaints because she had been busy trying to get properties cleaned up prior to bad weather setting in.

In one of those, someone is operating a business that is not permitted and she has made several site visits and is working with the owner on paperwork for a zone change. That applicant had until Jan. 12 to complete that paperwork.

In another, there was a complain about a business operating that is not permitted and she made several site visits and is still trying to contact the owner to discuss property and zoning issues.

In the third, she received a complaint about someone operating a retail store in an area zoned for agriculture and she spoke to the owner. Boyle said there was “no sign of a retail store” but the site will be monitored to make sure the owner is in compliance with the zoning.

Boyle told council she will be giving quarterly reports on her activities.

Councillor Jim Curry asked about business signs in residential areas that are violating the township’s sign bylaw.

Boyle said it would depend on the size of the sign.

Chief administrative officer Patty Sinnamon said people running businesses from their home are permitted a two foot sign on their home.

That prompted Curry to ask if a 2 by 3 foot signs placed at the curb is in violation of the bylaw. Boyle said it is.

Councillor Andy Knetsch said to Boyle of her report, “I appreciate the work you put into this. It’s very professional.”

January 20, 2012


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