City welcomes residents to discuss proposed Community Standards Bylaw
The City of Airdrie is hosting two open houses to inform residents and gain input on the controversial Community Standards bylaw, which will return to council Oct. 1 after a four-month hiatus.
City staff and municipal enforcement representatives will be on hand at Genesis Place on Sept. 24 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and at City Hall on Sept. 27 at the same time to provide information about the proposed bylaw. Copies of the document will be available to residents.
Scott Donsleaar, acting team lead of municipal enforcement, encouraged residents to attend the sessions and have their voices heard.
“If they have questions, if they have things that need clarification, then come out,” he said. “Come and see the measures that are being taken to (alleviate concerns).”
The proposed bylaw, which has been two years in the making, amalgamates a number of regulations into one document, laying out minimum standards for property maintenance, outside storage, ponding water, recreation vehicles, noise control, sidewalk clearing and unsightly conditions.
According to Donsleaar, the document, which was given first reading by council on June 4, was motivated by the large number of complaints municipal enforcement receives each year.
“The way we have been doing things in the past hasn’t been efficient, hasn’t been effective and hasn’t gotten the desired results,” he said. “The City has a large number of antiquated bylaws that haven’t been touched since the 1980s. (It is necessary) to provide the community with some clear legislation and some good defined criteria.”
The proposed bylaw includes a number of significant changes to noise restrictions, construction waste, recreational vehicle storage and exterior maintenance. If approved, bylaw officers will be permitted to ticket motorcyclists and off-road vehicles emitting noise in excess of 92 decibels.
It also includes a section that prohibits recreational vehicles from being parked in front driveways, with the exception of a period of 72 hours in the summer months.
If approved, changes to the Untidy and Unsightly Premises Bylaw would allow enforcement officers to clean up messy properties, fences and outdoor structures within 21 days, far less than the three months it can currently take.
According to Donsleaar, the proposed bylaw has been met with mixed reviews from Airdrie residents.
“It is one of those things that people either like it or they don’t,” he said. “Some sections are controversial…but most people are in support of the unsightly premises (section).”
Donsleaar added residents are also welcome to speak to council at the Oct. 1 meeting.
If approved, the City’s bylaw officers will enforce the new standards. Last year, municipal enforcement received 11,000 complaints including dog, traffic, unsightly premises and noise concerns. In 2009 and 2010, it received 9,000, according to Darryl Poburan of Airdrie’s municipal enforcement department.