Summerside bylaw would crack down on repeat offenders for unsightly premises

The City of Summerside is beefing up its bylaws when it comes to unsightly premises, hoping to crack down on property owners who don't like to mow.

New rules would let bylaw enforcers take action quickly on unsightly premises complaints

A resolution was introduced to amend Summerside's Dangerous, Hazardous and Unsightly Premises Bylaw at Monday night's council meeting. (Google Street View)

The City of Summerside is taking steps to deal with unsightly premises when it comes to repeat offenders.

At Monday night's regular monthly council meeting, city councillor Brian McFeely introduced a resolution to amend the current Dangerous, Hazardous and Unsightly Premises Bylaw.

"Previously, if a warning was issued to a homeowner, that warning was good for 12 months," explains McFeely. "Now, it's good for 48 months, so the need to come back to council for repeat offenders is eliminated for that four-year period."

McFeely says council regularly receives several complaints per year, mainly about long grass. 

When it comes to repeat offenders, if it's been more than a year since the last complaint, the new complaint would need to be discussed in council before the city's chief administrative officer would have the authority to have the property cleaned up.

Summerside councillor Brian McFeely says the proposed bylaw change would speed up the city's the reaction time for property complaints. (CBC)
McFeely estimates this will significantly expedite that process, and complainants can be assured repeat offenders will be dealt with immediately, as opposed to months later.

Immediate action

"So if a complaint does come in, the CAO can deal with it, and have it cleaned up immediately," he said.

The bylaw amendment would mean that once a premises has been deemed unsightly, an inspector can re-enter that property at any time within 48 months from the initial offence, to remedy a recurring condition.

Now that the bylaw amendment has passed its first reading, it goes back to the committee of council for further consideration and discussion.

McFeely doesn't anticipate any opposition to the change.

"I think it's been discussed at council on two to three different occasions, it's been discussed in Governance Policy and Strategy meetings on several occasions, it's been discussed at Committee of Council," he said. "I think there's general agreement around council to eliminate the untidy effects of long grass in the community, and I don't anticipate any problems getting it passed."

The bylaw amendment still needs to come back to council for a second and third reading before it can come into effect.