Best keep your land ‘clean, clear, and safe,’ Callander

Callander has adopted its community standards by-law, which ensures residents maintain their lands “in a clean, clear, and safe condition.” The by-law was discussed at Town Hall earlier this year, but the law was recently passed at the regular council meeting.

The 12-page by-law outlines the many possible infractions a neighbour could wrack up, including regulations on derelict vehicles, garbage about the property, and the placement of storage containers.

Highlights include keeping your grass below 8 inches in height. No more open freezers laying about your back yard. Those must be kept inside or with the lid locked if outside. That stolen shopping cart rusting in front yard? No body wants to see that, same for the broken-down washer on your side porch.

If your hedge is starting to push people off the sidewalk, that’s also a problem. Trim those up, or you may be a prime candidate for a fine. And if you bring those branches to your backyard compost, take a moment to ponder your set up.

Many rules are in place for the home composter. Your compost pile must be enclosed on all sides, and the municipality has deemed what a reasonable size is for a pile of compost – no larger than one square meter (10 sq ft.), and no higher than 1.2 meters (4 feet).

If you enjoy decorating the outside of your house with graffiti, that will be an issue with the new by-law. Graffiti is out, even if it is on your own home. “No person shall place, cause, or permit graffiti to be placed on any property within the Municipality.”

So shall it be, and if someone does violate those rules and puts their tag on a building you own, best get the soap and brush, because “every owner shall, at all times, maintain property free of graffiti by cleaning the exterior of any building.”

And so it shalt be cleaned. Also of note is that storing garbage on your front yard is not acceptable. Put that trash in some decent containers and place them in the side or back yard until garbage day. And the next garbage day at that, as household trash is “not permitted to accumulate longer than 14 days.”

Someone is watching, and on the theme of trash, littering is out.

See: Are Callander’s community standards set too high?

What about temporary storage? The zoning by-law also deals with this, but within this new by-law, here are some facts for the storage crowd. Temporary storage can be on your property for no more than 30 days prior to or following the sale of a property, or for 60 days if you need it for a construction project.

But be sure to have your building permit at the ready in case someone comes knocking. If the storage is for construction or demolition, the storage container can remain on the property for the allotted time as long as it’s not dangerous, doesn’t smell terribly, and won’t attract a hoard of mice or rats.

For those who cannot imagine parting with their collection of festering mattresses on their porch, or who feel their “Pile of Home Appliances” is an art display, you may find your wallet a little lighter. Most fines are $150, but note that this is per infraction, so depending on how squalid your property is, these fines can add up.

The graffiti fine is $250, and if you’re ever caught dumping trash on municipal property, prepare to wave goodbye to $500.

Every neighbourhood has a thousand eyes, so you may want to cast yours on the by-law for yourself to see what is in and what is definitely out. The document is available on the municipal website, and the fine section is on the last page.

To report an infraction, call Marvin Miller, the town’s by-law officer at 705-752-1410, ext. 233.

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,