With snow coming in the not-so-distant future in Saskatchewan, the City of Regina has confirmed it will officially start enforcing its snow-removal bylaw this fall.
Under the city's Clean Property Bylaw, all property owners are required to clear nearby sidewalks within 48 hours of a snowfall. Property owners within a section of downtown are required to clear nearby sidewalks within 24 hours, although that was a requirement before the most recent changes.
The idea is to make sure snow clearance is consistent, and ensure accessibility for pedestrians and users of the city's transit system.
Property owners who do not clear their sidewalks could face a $100 fine. Then, if the snow is still not addressed, a contractor could be called in to clear it. A potential $300 could then be added to the resident's property tax to help cover the cost.
While the snow removal requirement has been on the books since the beginning of the year, Regina used the first quarter of the year as an opportunity to inform the public about the bylaw.
A report in front of the city's executive committee on Wednesday provided the public with details on how that first quarter of education went.
As of April 5, the city had 1,064 cases — complaints or situations noticed by bylaw officers — related to sidewalk snow removal, with 1,043 occurring outside of the downtown area. Fourteen per cent of the cases were resolved with no violation being found when bylaw officers investigated, 51 per cent were found to have a violation but were resolved with no enforcement, and 34 per cent resulted in compliance through education or otherwise.
The city's report says it found a high rate of compliance across the city, with 75.8 per cent of the properties manually surveyed after snow events found to be in compliance.
The homes found not to be in compliance during those surveys received an informational door hanger, the city said.
Officials says those who are unable to clear their sidewalks will be assisted through the city's Snow Angels program.