Whitehorse city staff asked council to amend a property maintenance bylaw to make it more enforceable at the Dec. 4 standing committees meeting.
The request comes as a result of an attempt by the city in July 2017 to charge a property owner under the bylaw for a property maintenance offence. The property owner argued that that there was “no increase” in the “quantity of accumulations” on his property since the bylaw went into effect in 2009. The court found in favour of the property owner, because the wording of the bylaw is vague, said Dave Pruden, manager of bylaw services.
The bylaw would be amended to allow a more formal definition of the word “accumulate,” Pruden said.
Additionally, staff would like section 13 of the bylaw amended. The bylaw currently allows people to have unregistered vehicles covered by tarps. Staff would like this to be disallowed, and to force unregistered vehicles to be placed in a garage or temporary shelter instead to keep them from view.
This amendment is being proposed as a result of complaint bylaw received about a specific property where “several unregistered vehicles” belonging to the owner “has changed the appearance of the area” causing it to be considered “unsightly.”
Coun. Rob Fendrick said he knew this was a “real issue” for “some pockets” of the city and that he was “very glad” to see it come forward. He wanted to know how many of these temporary garages would be allowed on a property.
“It depends,” said Pruden.
Staff clarified after some debate that the number of structures permitted would be dependant on the size of the property and the placement of the units.
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