District reconsiders lawn cutting bylaw

Port Hardy Mayor Hank Bood received permission from his council to revisit the unsightly premises bylaw.

Maybe the grass doesn’t need to be cut on the other side of the fence.

At a Sept. 13 meeting, Mayor Hank Bood asked for, and received, permission from his council to revisit the addition of tall grass and/or weeds to the District of Port Hardy’s unsightly premises bylaw.

After receiving negative feedback from some residents, Bood decided to present “a notice of reconsideration” of the bylaw.

Council had previously given two readings of the revised unsightly premises bylaw which included that grass or weeds must be under 20 centimetres tall and that no dead landscaping is allowed.

“The general tone of these conversations (is that the new bylaw) is intrusive and controlling,” said Bood.

Councillor Rick Marcotte disagreed. “I view this as another tool in the toolbox that can be used if we need to use it,” said Marcotte.

Councillor Jessie Hemphill, who previously voted against the amendment, voiced her opposition again. Hemphill said there are instances where people may be ill, or away, and unable to mow their yards.

“What happens in those cases,” she said, adding that “the act of mowing lawns is bad for the environment. “It’s overly controlling and unenforceable,” she said. “I agree with Jessie,” said Councillor Fred Robertson.

“We’re crossing a line into sort of trying to say this is what council believes should be done with your lawn. We’re becoming a bit too intrusive with this,” Robertson said.

The idea that the bylaw would be enforced on people who are sick or handicapped “is completely silly,” said Marcotte, adding that no one will be going around measuring the length of grass.

“It’s a tool. A tool of last resort to make yards presentable,” said Marcotte. Bood said many people live in smaller communities “because there aren’t a zillion rules.”

Part of the issue, said Councillor Pat Corbett-Labatt, is that some of the unsightly grass is on properties that have absentee owners, so there is no opportunity to discuss things with neighbours.

Councillor Dennis Dugas said tall grass and weeds is an issue in some areas and the majority of the neighbouring homeowners “don’t like it. Most people like to have at least their front yards up to the standards of the neighbourhood that they’re in.”

“I’m in favour of leaving it,” Dugas said.

“Where does it end,” asked Robertson, wondering if council will next tell people what colours to paint their home, what sort of roofing they are required to have. “There is a bit of a slippery slope around it,” he said.

Corbett-Labatt suggested the proposed changes go back to the Operational Services Committee “to discuss it further.

Her motion was approved.

 

Just Posted

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

VIDEO: North Island Peewee Eagles unleash avalanche of goals against Peninsula in semi-final showdown

The two teams squared up on Sunday morning at the Chilton Regional Arena in Port McNeill.

North Island Seniors Housing Foundation takes the next step towards getting Trustee Road land

Seniors rejoice, Port Hardy council is very much in favour of helping… Continue reading

Port Hardy Volleyball club requests funding from Port Hardy council

The sport of Volleyball is alive and well in the North Island,… Continue reading

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Most Read