Town of Nipawin tackling nuisances under new bylaw

NIPAWIN — Nipawin council has passed third reading on a bylaw combining the minimum standards and nuisance abatement bylaw.

According to Barry Elliott, Nipawin’s administrator, the town combined them to make “more sense” and be easier to manage.

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“Initially we had two separate bylaws and they have been amalgamated into one and significantly updated using current language, current enhancement on the enforcement techniques and that sort of thing,” Elliott said. “So it’s a pretty significant change to two bylaws.”

The administration and enforcement of the bylaw is delegated to the town’s administrator, which is currently Elliott, but he is also authorized to further delegate the enforcement.

Elliott said the enforcement will be delegated to a bylaw enforcement officer, when someone is hired to fill that position.

“It always has been the bylaw enforcement officer, but we had a vacancy in the role for quite some time now and we’ve been reviewing the position and modifications to the scope of the position,” he said. “So it’s just taking a little longer than we’d like to get a new body in place.”

Until a bylaw enforcement officer is hired, all inquiries or complaints should be directed to the town office.

“They’ll get assigned from there essentially, for follow-up.”

Some nuisances include dilapidated buildings, rodents, lacking yard maintenance and improper storage of outdoor materials.

Outdoor storage of materials in the bylaw includes building materials such as lumber, firewood. The bylaw dictates they must be neatly stacked in piles. The piles must be elevated at least 15 centimetres (6 inches) off the ground so as not to constitute a nuisance or harbor for rodents, vermin and insects; must be stacked at least 3.0 metres (10 feet) from the exterior walls of any building; and must be stacked at least 1.0 metre (3 feet) from the property line. An exception to this is materials stored on site during construction.

Minimum standards cover property maintenance and an individual’s duty to maintain that property. An example of this is all exterior openings in a building must be fitted with doors and/ or windows to prevent the infiltration of air, rain or snow.

The fine for failure to comply with the property maintenance and nuisance abatement bylaw for a first offence is $100, if paid within 15 days. If paid after 15 days that fine becomes $250. The second offence is $150 that increases to $500 after 15 days and for third offence is $200 that increases to $750.

“It appears to be a pretty comprehensive bylaw now and we’ll iron out any kinks as we go along,” Elliott said.

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