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Cluttered, unsightly yard? Not for long, Mattawa

New bylaw will ensure town keeps clean
mattawa town hall turl 2016
The Town of Mattawa passed a Clean Yards bylaw on June 28 / Mattawa Municipal Office. Photo by Jeff Turl.

Mattawa has passed a new clean yards bylaw to enforce proper maintenance and ensure clutter remains out of sight.

Until last year, the town had been using the Property Standards bylaw to enforce yard complaints. Creating a bylaw dedicated to yards will increase the speed of the municipality’s response.

“The timeline for compliance is much shorter,” with the new bylaw, Wayne Chaput, the town’s bylaw officer explained.

The faster timeline “makes more sense when it comes to the cutting of long grass and weeds.”

Essentially, the new bylaw is similar to the Property Standards bylaw the municipality was working under.

See: New City contract position would focus on enforcing property standards

The bylaw stresses that every owner shall keep their land free of all refuse, debris, domestic and industrial waste of any kind.

One’s land must also remain free from infestation.

Weeds and all varieties of grass must not exceed eight inches in height. Other vegetation must be trimmed “and kept from becoming unreasonably overgrown in a fashion that may affect public safety.”

Standing and stagnant water is frowned upon, as are holes that may create hazards. All pits and holes must have a temporary barrier at least 1.2 metres high surrounding them.

The composting crowd is reminded that composting is only allowed at the rear of a dwelling, and if using a container, it must be covered when not being emptied of filled.

Composting should be done in a manner that will not lead to or encourage possible infestations.

See: City says it's dealing with rat infestation in Preston neighbourhood

If compost is piled, that pile will be no larger than one square metre, and 1.2 metres in height. The compost must be enclosed on all sides by concrete block or lumber.

Inoperable motor vehicles, unfit for road use, are not allowed on properties, nor are vehicles not currently licensed for operation pursuant to the Highway Traffic Act.

Car parts are also not allowed to litter lawns “unless otherwise expressly permitted.”

The same applies for “wrecked, dismantled, discarded, inoperable or abandoned machinery, trailers, or boats.”

A bylaw officer may issue an order regarding infractions to any of the above, and the land owner will be responsible for remedying the complaint.

If the owner does not comply, the town will remove any items or rectify any contravention, and charge the land owner for the service.

If those fees are not paid to the town within thirty days, the price will be added to the lot’s property tax.

Bylaw officers are entitled to enter and examine any lands, yards, vacant lots or grounds within the municipality.

The compete bylaw can be found at the Town of Mattawa’s website.

See: Winter tent garage by-law angers longtime city resident


About the Author: David Briggs

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering civic and diversity issues for BayToday. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada
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