Unsightly properties to be one of four strategic targets for peace officers

Encouraging cleanup of unsightly properties in Sylvan Lake is one of four target areas for community peace officers this summer.

Encouraging cleanup of unsightly properties in Sylvan Lake is one of four target areas for community peace officers this summer.

A program was outlined by Nick Reijnen, manager of municipal enforcement, for councillors who asked for action on properties which could be considered unsightly or a nuisance by neighbours when examined in the context of their areas of town.

The plan begins with educating the public about what’s contained in the Community Standards Bylaw, then working with property owners who may be in contravention of certain sections.

Reijnen added, now is a good time to begin the process as the town’s large item pick-up is scheduled for next week (May 6-8). At that time public works personnel will collect unwanted household furniture and appliances from people who are registered by 4 p.m. Monday.

Items they won’t collect, however, include construction debris, automotive parts and appliances containing Freon.

For more on this program call 403-887-2800.

The town is also involved in Pitch-In Week from May 4-11 and encouraging schools, service clubs and neighbourhood groups to help clean up various areas of town.

The unsightly property program Reijnen outlined contains enforcement components if they’re not able to work with property owners to rectify problems.

Besides complaints from the public, his officers will be proactively scanning the community while they’re on patrol, looking for properties which may need attention.

The town’s Community Standards Bylaw defines ‘nuisance’ as “any use of or activity upon any property that is offensive to any person, or has or may have a detrimental impact upon any person or property in the neighbourhood É”

Among issues covered in the bylaw are dilapidated furniture or household appliances, loose garbage, rubbish, packaging material, scrap metal or lumber, tires, parts of machinery, equipment or appliances and motor vehicle parts that have accumulated.

Failing to control grass, weeds, shrubs or other landscaping features on the property or on the boulevard abutting a property is covered in another section of the bylaw.

“No person may conduct any repair work on motor vehicles É on any residential site in a residential district unless they have obtained a valid business license,” indicates a clause.

Other areas addressed are creation of excessive dust and burning anything other than dry untreated clean wood in a fireplace or firepit.

Reijnen added, the town’s bylaw is similar to those in other communities which address standards about how properties should look and be maintained.

Anyone with questions is requested to contact his office at 403-858-7280.