By Craig Westcott / August 25, 2023
Bay Roberts council has opted to enforce the rules on a Central Street property owner who appears to have developed a habit of running afoul of regulations concerning scrapped vehicles on private property.
Mayor Walter Yetman said the request to issue an order to clean up the property came as a recommendation from the Town’s director of protective services, who outlined a history of problems at the site dating back to the early 2000s.
“There was (a clean up) order issued in 2003, again in 2004, again in 2020,” noted the mayor. “So, the recommendation is for council to reissue the order and carry it out as written.”
Councillor Ross Petten made a motion to do just that, with councillor Perry Bowering seconding it.
“I agree with this 100 per cent,” said Deputy Mayor Geoff Seymour. “Residential properties can’t be parking lots for scrap cars, etcetera. And there’s more than this one around town.”
Seymour said the Town shouldn’t wait for complaints to be made about such properties before taking action.
Mayor Yetman allowed the Town is a bit hesitant sometimes when it comes to taking action in such cases because of the potential for a huge enforcement challenge and a significant financial cost. “But you can’t let that affect your decision,” he argued.
“No, you cannot,” said Seymour. “When you look around town, the vast majority of people look after their properties. They invest time and money into their properties and it’s not fair for nine or 10 people on a street to have their properties immaculate and then for someone else to use theirs as a dumping ground. It’s not fair.”
Yetman said there are other places in town with similar issues and staff are going to make a concentrated effort to deal with them.
“We’d like for people to comply with the orders,” Yetman said. “We’re doing it for a reason. We have regulations and bylaws in place to help us with these kinds of things when they come up, to back us up. So, it’s up to you now council as a body to decide whether to move ahead with this. The recommendation is there.”
Councillor Frank Deering said he agreed with the deputy mayor’s suggestion to take action as soon as a problem is spotted, instead of waiting for complaints to come in. “Because there are lots of vehicles around town with wheels off them, just sitting there waiting for grass to grow up around them,” he added. “Once they look like they’re scrap vehicles, they (the owners) should be notified right away.”
Put to a vote, Petten’s motion to issue the clean up order to the Central Street property owner carried unanimously.