The presence of ticks carrying Lyme disease in P.E.I. is leading one town council to revisit its unsightly premises bylaws.
Stratford council voted unanimously during Wednesday’s meeting to allow for an exterior cleanup at 50 Millennium Dr. after previous orders and attempts to contact the property owner were unsuccessful.
Council heard the property’s grass was longer than eight inches and the cleanup would be charged to the property owner.
Coun. Derek Smith, who chairs the town’s safety services committee said, along with being unsightly, the grass is a health and safety issue due to the presence of deer ticks.
“Lyme disease is a serious issue. I don’t know if there are ticks on this property or not, but it is a dangerous situation,” said Smith, adding that he was for a bylaw review to allow for quicker action on unsightly properties.
“We give the benefit of doubt to homeowners but we also have to consider neighbours and residents of the street who try and keep their properties clean.”
At a glance
For more information on Lyme disease, visit princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/health-and-wellness/lyme-disease-pei
Coun. Gary Clow said he also shared concern over the presence of ticks.
Mayor Steve Ogden said a neighbour who complained about the unsightly premise was also told the town would review the bylaw to see if the timeline could be sped up.
Currently the process, from a neighbour filing a complaint to council ordering a cleanup, can take six weeks.
“(It’s) too long. Grass grows pretty quickly in this kind of weather and we need to be a little more responsive,” said Ogden. “And at the same time… balancing that with respect to property owners to give them time to respond.”
The cleanup ordered by council is for an ongoing basis until the property is in compliance with the bylaw, which means the property could see its grass cut several times by the town’s contractor. Until a payment is made, any charges will constitute a lien on the property.