Parksville city council has voted in favour of a bylaws department recommendation to have a homeowner clean up the boulevard in front of his property – or face subsequent penalties.
There was plenty of debate at the Sept. 9 council meeting about a property on James Street.
Council voted 4-2 to allow the bylaw recommendation that if cleanup was not completed by Sept. 21, staff members would complete the task and all expenses incurred, including a $500 processing fee, would be invoiced to the registered owner. If such expenses are not paid by the end of the calendar year, the cost would be added to property taxes.
It was noted the property has been a source of several complaints, dating back to 2017, regarding tall grass and weeds on the property and boulevard.
Coun. Adam Fras said he “doesn’t believe the property stood out from other properties he’s seen in other areas of town”.
Coun. Doug O’Brien and Coun. Marilyn Wilson agreed that there is a grey area to the bylaw and it may need to be massaged for future reference.
“There’s a great movement away from green front lawns, and into English cottage country style which doesn’t contain grass as we know it, like on the golf greens,” said O’Brien.
He said that these types of landscaping styles conserve water and promote pollination.
Amanda Weeks, manager of administrative services and corporate officer, reminded the council of its amendment to the bylaw in February 2019 where specific items, including when a bylaw officer notes the continued unsightly condition for a period of more than 10 days, can be investigated without submission of a complaint.