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Getting action from city hall sometimes requires some pushing.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

September 12th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This is how the rubber hits the road when a resident takes a complaint to the city administration and then the elected member of Council.

It is not a pretty picture – the only bright spot is the patience the resident has shown.

The issue is with the property known as 2013 Paisley, a small bungalow that is said to have been vacant for two years.

2013 Paisley Sept 2019

House is said to have been vacant for two years. Complaints made to bylaw department – no action so far.

Mark Passalent writes Grant Ziliotto, the city’s Manager of By-Law Enforcement, Licensing & Animal Services informing him that the September 9 notice was issued in response to his complaint. It is presently tucked on top of the mailbox, next to the notice from June that was issued after he filed the first complaint for this year.

Complaints were previously filed in 2018, and notices issued.

Passalent was complaining about the vermin that were infesting the property since 2018.  He asks:

“Please take the time to respond to the following questions and concerns. This property, its rats, rabbits, ragweed and goldenrod are directly behind and adjoining my yard.”

What does acting with the owner involve, and what is the status?
What is the time frame allowed for response in this instance?
Is the time period discretionary?
Does it decrease with each offence and each time the City has to act to maintain the property?
How long can we expect to wait for the property to be acted on once this period has expired?
Is there a City action plan for properties that are persistently derelict, or does the City only respond to complaints?
Shall I put a reminder in my calendar to file another complaint in 3 weeks?

Gary Parker whose home abuts the property asks: “ If in fact Grant is ‘actively working with the owner’ we have yet to see any positive result of that ‘action’. The staked black plastic barrier around the perimeter certainly hasn’t helped and in fact it’s contributed to the establishment of a more secure environment for the vermin that infest this property.

“I’ll be interested to see what kind of response you receive to this very clearly worded request. It would seem to any reasonable person that the situation at 2013 Paisley is extraordinary in that it has now been vacant for close to two years and its owner has basically thumbed his nose at all of us.”

He adds: “And just as a curiosity: why would they deliver a notice to an obviously vacant property – on multiple occasions? ( and then wait for a response?)”

Kearns at podium

Lisa Kearns – Councillor for ward 2

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns who has been copied in on the correspondence responds to the concern about 2013 Paisley saying: “Appreciate your patience with my responding as I wanted to first connect with Grant Ziliotto who is aware of the situation and confirms that his team is actively working with the owner to address the concern. Grant indicates that as at most recently (Sept. 9/19), a notice was issued requiring the property be brought into compliance.

“In answer to your question about “Can you please explain to me what process and rights the City has in dealing with a residential property that remains vacant and derelict?”, once a complaint is received, an investigation follows, and if non-compliant, the owner is issued a notice requiring compliance within a certain time-frame. If the time-frame is not met, then the city will proceed with further enforcement. For more information, visit By-law Enforcement.  To her credit Kearns did get on top of the problem as soon as she learned about it.

A close reading of the bylaw will tell you that the city can take whatever action is necessary if the property owner does not comply.

They did that with a resident who didn’t cut down natural flora on her property – they entered the property and cut down the offending plants.

There is another angle the area residents might consider. Get in touch with the Regional Medical Officer of Health – Hamidah Meghani and tell her that you think there is a public health issue here. That will get some movement.

Provincial legislation requires her to react promptly when there are public health issues. Get pictures of those rats if you can.

 

Related news stories:

By law officers tear plants out of a residents garden.

 

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4 comments to Getting action from city hall sometimes requires some pushing.

  • Alide Camilleri

    Just can’t comprehend why a natural garden gets removed despite a bylaw that allows it, yet this property continues to stand neglected.

    Just one note though: Goldenrod is not a harmful wildflower. People make the mistake of often confusing it with the allergy-causing ragweed.

  • Charlie Schwartz

    Post the idiot’s name, address, phone #, where he works so we who live in sight of this pest hole can start bugging this character non stop. It’s obvious The city isen’t doing anything except the bare minimum which is not good enough!

  • Lynn Crosby

    It’s hard to figure out the priorities of the by-law department. This particular situation is left to go on for two years while the property goes from eyesore to health concern and beyond. Yet I recall well the over-zealousness exhibited by them with respect to car magnets and their bizarre interpretation of an even more bizarre by-law last year at about this time …strange indeed.

  • Fred Crockett

    Posting of notices on a door, mailbox, whatever… is an archaic means of formal delivery sustained by our incompetent legal process. Does the owner pay property taxes (or is that another issue that the City has overlooked)? Surely our administration must have a formal address for the property owner to which they can send, by registered mail (another archaic form of notice) a message that the owner is in contravention of dozens of municipal requirements. I agree with contacting the Regional Medical Officer of Health to get the slime ball’s attention. The current municipal administration is doing very good things in general, but while the By-Law people are zealous about cutting down the wildflowers of old ladies, they hide under their desks or behind bloated procedures to avoid dealing with a creep that is abusing a magnificent neighbourhood.