Why are city bylaws a secret?
We moved here a year and a half ago from a town outside of Ottawa and have been disappointed in how this town is run. It has cost us double to bring our vehicles and RVs here only to be told where to park them on our own property. Not in the driveway and not on the side of the lot, only behind the house….
When we bought the house we paid for its lot, and when we pay city taxes they are for the house and the full lot, not part of it, for the front, sides, and back.
Our vehicles – car, truck, boat or ATV -- are new. We keep our yard clean and well maintained. But within two blocks of where we live, we can see boats, campers and rust buckets in the yards and in the street. Thanks to our “neighbour”, the by-law police have been here to tell us we are not allowed the recreational vehicles in our driveway. We use them every weekend. We must manoeuvre them into the back yard, and every time we do take our "toys" out we damage the front lawn. Now our yard looks like crap, but, hey! we’re following the by-law.
What I do not understand is while the by-law officer was here why didn’t he warn the neighbours in front us who had a beat-up rusty boat and trailer -- oh, I forgot, they are friends with the nosy neighbour and it is OK for them as long as this neighbour does not put in a complaint!
Another issue is that we cannot cut down a tree without the city’s permission. We asked to remove a pine tree from our front yard, which we would be happy to replace with another type of tree – one that would not attract bees. I am allergic to bee and wasp stings. And bees/wasps are attracted to pine tree gum. We were told by the city that we should get an exterminator instead. But bees are dying all around Canada because of pesticides so I don’t think poisoning more bees is a solution. We just want them to get their food from another location.
As tax payers and home-owners we don’t think we should be dictated where to park or what we can and cannot do on our own property. What is the point of buying a home and paying taxes if we have to worry about the by-law officer coming over every other day because a nosy neighbour doesn’t like our flowers, paint colour, fence, or anything!
If the city is going to enforce this bylaw then enforce it with all, not just one person because of a nosy neighbour who makes a complaint. Take a walk around your block and tell me if there are not at least one or more homes with something other than a car/truck in their front yard!
Linda (name with-held)