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West Nipissing to toughen Property Maintenance and Standards bylaw

It won’t happen right away but a change is coming to the Property Maintenance and Standards bylaw in West Nipissing.

Councillors have received a number of complaints from homeowners with neighbours who do not maintain their properties.

Councillor Yvon Duhaime is one of those councillors and he says there’s no reason why some yards have debris in them.

Duhaime says no one wants to live next to a place that has cars on the land for 20 years.

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He says people should respect the neighbours around them.

Mayor Joanne Savage also noted how some properties are not kept tidy.

She told council while driving along Front Street she saw four properties where the grass has not been cut and now the land looks like a field.

Staff acknowledges it deals with many complaints and the municipality is in the process of hiring a second bylaw officer to help deal with matters.

Staff has also been directed to toughen the current bylaw.

Councillor Lise Senecal says issues can start with a verbal warning and if the owner does nothing within a reasonable time frame to correct the matter, then the case will escalate to the point the property owner would be ticketed.

The amendment is something staff will work on over the fall, so that council can approve it and then the municipality has time over the winter and early spring to educate the public about the changes.

The municipality’s bylaw is passive enforcement meaning it’s only enforced when someone complains.

Complaints can be called into the municipality at 753-2250 or emailed at support@westnipissing.ca

So far this year the municipality has had 48 complaints and 38 have been resolved.

In some instances when a property owner refuses to comply with a clean-up order, the municipality does the work and charges the work back to the homeowner by adding the bill to the tax roll.

One part of this issue that bothers the Mayor are repeat offenders.

Savage says revisiting an issue that involves the same person is costly for the municipality and frustrating for the neighbours.

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