Cut your boulevard grass, among changes to property law

Weeds start popping up on these boulevards on York Street in Cornwall, Ont. Sunday June 25, 2017. Homeowners will be required to cut their own boulevard grass as part of changes to the yard maintenance bylaw, expected to be approved by council tonight. The changes won't take effect until February 2018. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – You will have to make an extra few passes with the lawnmower under changes to be adopted tonight (Monday) to toughen up Cornwall’s property standards.

The biggest change will see landowners responsible for cutting their own boulevard grass – the section of the road allowance adjacent to your property, next to the roadway.

The only exception would be for boulevards that slope more than 30 degrees.

The changes aim to toughen up the city’s property standards and are also part of a five year review of the yard maintenance bylaw.

There are a host of other changes in the amendments to the yard maintenance bylaw. They include:

  • shopping carts on private property would be treated as waste. Failing to remove it after getting a notice would lead to the city removing the cart and billing you against your property taxes
  • a limit of one inoperative vehicle of a residential property, provided it’s in a “fully enclosed building” – in other words, a garage
  • compost piles, firewood and garden equipment in the back yard or side yard, again, out of sight from the street
  • no front yard used for storage, including the use of vehicles – operable or not – for storage purposes

There’s also a proposed change in the law to prohibit owners and tenants from “hindering or obstructing,” if the city sends in a contractor to clean up a mess.

Any action taken by the city would be subject to a 25 per cent administrative fee (25 per cent of the cost of the cleanup work), with a minimum of $110 and a maximum of $475, plus a re-inspection fee of $55.

If approved, the new changes will come into effect Feb. 28, 2018.

City council will discuss the law amendments tonight (Monday) at 7 p.m. at city hall.

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