Council considers compliance order

Spallumcheen is considering change its existing bylaw regulations on unsightly premises

An order to clean up unsightly premises in Spallumcheen would have more impact than being told the property is an eye-sore.

Council is considering a recommendation from bylaw enforcement officer Grant Colling to change its existing bylaw regulations on the matter.

Colling explained that in the last quarter, from July to September, there were three unsightly premises he had to deal with. Two of them, he said, have been cleaned up. But the third property is at the point where it will now receive the township’s notice of non-compliance note.

Change that to an order of compliance, said Colling, who also works in Armstrong and Enderby, cities that have order of compliance orders, and that will help.

“Under your bylaws, we send the owners a note saying you’re not complying (with the township’s regulations) and you must,” said Collin. “In Armstrong and Enderby, we have the order to comply and that has far more impact. It’s saying the situation is serious enough that we’re telling you, you must take certain actions to remedy it.

“It catches a person’s attention when they’re ordered to comply.”

Under an order to comply, if the situation is still not fixed to the township’s standards, the municipality has the authority to send in its public works department or hire a contractor to clean up the unsightly property.

The city could then either send a bill to the owner or add the cost to the owner’s tax bill.

Fines in the township range from $100 for unsightly premises to $500 for failure to comply or interference.

An order to comply serves three main purposes.

“It clearly outlines the conditions that must be brought up to standard,” said Colling. “We’re saying we are ordering you to clean up your property, that it must be cleaned up by a certain date and we have a record of the date the order was served.”

Colling said he works hard with those owners deemed to have unsightly premises to help them get the properties cleaned up before a notice of non-compliance or order to comply is issues.

In one of the three instances in Spallumcheen last quarter, Colling’s work resulted in him receiving praise from the owners.

He described the property as having more than a dozen trucks, buses, trailers, wrecks and stuff that needed to be disposed of.

“The respondents thanked me for the directions I gave them,” said Colling. “They know the property’s a mess but had no idea what to do. The wife thanked me for giving her husband some motivation. Now, the property is night-and-day. You’d never know it was same property.”

Colling offered to work with township administration to come up with an order of compliance form for council’s perusal, which council accepted