City clean yard fines should grow some teeth

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If approved, owners face a $200 fine for storing machinery, vehicles, boats or trailers in an unusable condition – up from $65 previously

Throughout its tenure, North Bay City Council has prioritized cleaning up abandoned and dilapidated properties, and with its approval on Tuesday, by-law officers will be one step closer to having more options to enforcement with stiffer fines to be imposed under revamped regulations. .

With Council’s approval, a specific timeline for the new City of North Bay Clean Yards By-law can then be submitted to the Ministry of the Attorney General for final approval.

In March, Council passed By-Law No. 2022-28 on Clean Worksites and repealed By-law No. 2011-185 on Clean Worksites. Revisions to the bylaw include expanding the coverage area to all city properties, not just residences. It is officially known as the “By-law to establish standards respecting the exterior maintenance of properties and the control of grass on the grounds of the City of North Bay”.

The repeal of the old regulation requires a new scale of fines. The old bylaw provided for fines of $65 for offenses such as failure to keep residential grounds free of household waste, failure to cut grass and weeds, storage of inoperative motor vehicles, and obstruction a by-law officer during an inspection.

See the updated and expanded violations of the new regulations with fines set at $100 or $200 below:

  • $200 Owner fails to keep property free of undesirable materials Section 2.1.1 (expanded definition of “undesirable” now includes animal excrement and human waste, standing water, dead/damaged trees/ rotten, indoor furniture)
  • $100 Owner does not keep grass and weeds within 20 centimeters Section 2.2.2
  • $100 Owner failed to store garbage or recyclables in appropriate container Section 2.3.1
  • $200 Landlord allows compost to emit odors Section 2.3.2(a)
  • $200 Owner keeps motor vehicle on property that is inoperable or without valid registration Section 2.4.1
  • $200 Owner stores machinery, vehicle, boat, trailer or part thereof in an unusable condition Section 2.4.2
  • $200 Obstruction agent Section 5.2.1

According to the staff report, “the new fine schedule will allow fines to be imposed on an offender without the need to appear in court, reducing costs and time for enforcement and the Provincial Offenses Office. “.

Under the By-Law, fines are due and payable upon written notification by the By-Law Enforcement or upon issuance of an invoice by the City. If the fee is not paid within 30 calendar days, this amount may be added to the tax roll and collected as property taxes. Owners will also be charged for resources and services “where the City performs work or causes work to be performed, such work shall be performed at the owner’s expense”, and these fees are also subject to the same collection schedule as above .

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