Tuesday, April 20, 2010  
   Volume 80 - Issue 16 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“It’s like a paradise here. It’s got to be one of the prettiest places on earth.”
- Corporal Clayton Blight  
- on his promotion and   
transfer to Manitoba   

 

 
The Community Standards bylaw, which outlines areas of community cleanliness, attractiveness, and safety on local properties, is getting a makeover by council. Several new items are being proposed as additions to the bylaw, along with clarifications and extended definitions in several areas.
In the proposed changes, restrictions would be placed on automotive work that could be done outdoors. The draft changes state that "no person may conduct any repair work on motor vehicles, including mechanical repairs, auto body work, frame repair, collision repair, auto painting, auto detailing or modifications to the body or rebuilding of a motor vehicle, on any site in a residential area."
This will not apply to routine maintenance work of a registered and insured vehicle, but only if the work does not create noise complaints, cause offensive fumes, and is done in a garage capable of having the doors and windows closed.
A second proposed change will only allow recreational and seasonal vehicles to be parked on residential streets between October 1 and April 30. In addition, personal vehicles will only be allowed to be parked on designated driveways and prepared parking areas, and such parking will not be allowed to take up more than 15 percent of the total property area.
Councillor David Cole said that 15 percent could be a nightmare with large lots. He suggested allowing only a set number of vehicles. Councillor Dean Ward said that the 15 percent should only apply to residential properties, as that would be enough for several vehicles.
Council received advice from legal counsel that they may wish to refer their proposed new bylaw to the City of Calgary, in order to determine if there were any potential legal pitfalls in it.
 
Councillor Ward said that he was not keen to do that. He said that he wanted council to wrap up and pass the bylaw in short order, as it is important to residents.
Councillor Larry Mitchell said that he feels council should make sure the bylaw is done right and will stand up to court challenges. "We're not lawyers," he said. "We're not judges."
Councillor Cole agreed that council should ensure the bylaw can stand up in court. Councillor Ian MacLeod said that council should simply finish the bylaw and let the courts determine whether any part of it is right or wrong. He said that even with legal opinions, you can never know for certain until and if it goes to court.
Councillor Ward said that he intends to bring the bylaw back at the May 4 council meeting for final fine-tuning before an attempt to pass it.
Bylaw officer Larry Iutzi also provided commentary on the proposed changes. He said that he would like to see leaves included as yard material, so that the accumulation of leaves would not be allowed. Piled leaves, he wrote, can be a fire hazard and can annoy neighbours when the wind blows them onto adjoining properties.
Iutzi also commented on a section of the bylaw indicating that significant fading, chipping, or peeling of paint on buildings or structures would be considered unsightly. He said that in some cases, people may be saving money and planning to make a change in the near future. In such cases, he suggested, council could enter a contract with the property owners, giving them time to complete a project that would correct the issue.
He also noted that Fort Macleod has banned the parking of recreational vehicles on streets altogether, out of concern for safety when people walk out from behind one and cannot be seen in time by traffic.
"In general," wrote Iutzi, "I feel the changes as proposed are well defined and necessary."
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