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The MD's peace officers rely on a set of legislative tools to ensure residents have the peaceful enjoyment of their property.

On occasion, properties across the MD have become unsightly with overgrown grass; junked vehicles and discarded appliances; or accumulated refuse. These unsighly properties can affect neighbouring property values and the enjoyment of your home. Noise violations and light infiltration to neighbouring lots also affect the peaceful enjoyment of a resident’s home.

MD Council passed third and final reading of Open Spaces Regulation Bylaw 2022-03 during its regular Council session on April 13, 2022. This important legislation articulates the free use of open space areas across the MD, while providing a framework for managing conflicting uses and growing demands on these areas.

"Having a clear, common sense bylaw in place as we welcome folks will help ensure a safe and a positive experience for all who enjoy our public lands."
— Barry Kolenosky, Chief Administrative Officer

This legislation helps establish expectations for visitors of MD-owned parks, trails and open spaces. It also provides Control Officers with a clear-cut set of guidelines to ensure that visitors do not unduly interfere with the amenities of an open space, or materially interfere with or affect the use and enjoyment of the open space by all visitors.

The Cost of Non-Compliance

The MD can impose fines of up to $5,000 to discourage behaviours like discharging raw sewage; starting fires during a provincial fire ban; or dumping waste onto a highway.

Bylaw 2022-03 came into effect in May of 2022, repealing the legacy regulation, Bylaw 2020-14.

Highlights of the Open Spaces Regulations

Property Nuisances and Safety

3(1) No Owner or Occupant of any Property shall allow the Property which they own or occupy to be or to become an Unsafe Property, Unsightly Property, Untidy Property or a Nuisance.

3(2) No Owner or Occupant of any land shall allow a Derelict Building to remain on the land at any time.

3(3) No Person shall have, permit or allow a Junked Vehicle to remain in or on Residential Premises for more than fourteen (14) successive days.

3(4) No Owner or Occupant of a Property shall have or allow in or on the Property, the accumulation of:

(a) any material that creates unpleasant odor.

(b) any material likely to attract animals, pests or wildlife.

(c) animal remains, parts of animal remains or animal feces.

3(5) No Owner or Occupant of a Property shall have or allow the open or exposed storage on the Property of any industrial fluid, including engine oil, brake fluid, antifreeze and gasoline.

3(6) No Owner or Occupant of a Property shall have or allow the following to accumulate on the Property such that the accumulation is visible to a Person viewing the Property from outside the Property:

(a) loose garbage and bagged garbage.

(b) bottles, cans, boxes or packaging materials.

(c) household furniture or other household goods.

(d) automobile parts.

(e) parts of or disassembled machinery, equipment or appliances; and

(f) yard waste, including grass, tree and hedge cuttings, leaves and refuse.

(g) junked vehicles and or trailers.

3(7) No Owner or Occupant of a Property shall allow a discarded refrigerator or freezer to remain on the Property without first ensuring that the hinges and latches, or lid or doors of the unit have been removed.

3(8) Notwithstanding section 3(7), it shall not be an offence for an Owner or Occupant of a Property to have or allow a discarded refrigerator or freezer to remain on the Property if:

(a) the refrigerator or freezer is not visible to a Person viewing the Property from outside the Property; and

(b) the refrigerator or freezer always remains locked with a padlock and key or similar device.

3(9) No Owner or Occupant of a Property shall have or allow any discarded appliance to remain on the Property such that the appliance is visible to a Person viewing the Property from outside the Property.

3(10) The Owner and/or Occupant of all private Property shall:

(a) cut the grass on said Property as well on any boulevard which abuts, flanks, or adjoins the

Property to a height of 15 centimeters or less; this includes lanes or alleys at the rear or side

of the Premises or Property.

(b) eradicate noxious weeds.

(c) remove from the Property any dead grass, brush, rubbish, or anything else which is considered Untidy or Unsightly.

(d) remove or prune trees that in any way interfere with or endanger the lines, poles, conduits, pipes, sewer, or other works of the Municipality or a public utility.

(e) repair, paint, and generally maintain or remove fences and other similar structures on the Property.

(f) repair, paint, and generally maintain private recreation areas such as the play space in mobile home parks and multiple family developments; and

(g) ensure that Graffiti placed on their property is removed, painted over, or otherwise permanently blocked from public view.

3(11) No Owner or Occupant of Property shall have or allow on the Property the accumulation of materials, whether new or used, unless that Owner or Occupant can establish that a construction or renovation project is being carried out on the Property and that.

(a) the project has begun, or the beginning of work is imminent.

(b) the materials found on the Property relate to the project taking place on the Property in a quantity reasonable to complete the project.

(c) the work on the project has not been suspended for a period in excess of sixty days

This section does not include waste or Refuse generated from the project.

3(12) An Owner or Occupant of a Property shall ensure that all building materials referred to in section 3(11) that are stored on the Property are stacked or stored in an orderly manner.

3(13) Notwithstanding anything in section 3(11), it shall not be an offence to store a small amount of neatly stacked materials on a Property for basic Property maintenance.

3(14) No Persons shall allow smoke from an approved open burning fire to become or remain a Nuisance to any other Person.

3(15) Section 3(1) thru 3(14) shall not apply to Agricultural Zoned Lands.

Sidewalks

4(1) The Occupant or Owner of any Property situated along a Highway shall be responsible for removal of snow, ice, dirt, debris or other material from the Sidewalk within seventy-two (72) hours after the snow, ice, dirt, debris or other material is deposited thereon by any means whatsoever.

4(2) No Person shall place snow, ice, dirt, debris or other material onto the Highway, any Public Place or on private Property other than their own.

4(3) If any Property situated along a Highway in the Hamlets of the Municipality is found not to be in compliance with section 4(1) of this Bylaw; a Peace Officer or other designated officer may issue a compliance notice, either verbally or in writing by leaving a printed compliance notice in a conspicuous place on the Property, or an Order under section 545 of the Act.

4(4) If any Occupant or Owner fails to comply with section 4(1) of this Bylaw, the Municipality may carry out the removal of snow, ice, dirt, debris or other material or contract out the removal with all costs and expenses involved being charged to the Owner of the Property and any unpaid costs or expenses incurred by the Municipality may be added to the tax roll of the Property to be recovered in like manner as with other taxes pursuant to the Act.

Noise Abatement and Light Pollution

5(1) Quiet Time within the Municipality shall be between the hours of 11:00 PM and 07:00 AM on weekdays and Saturdays and between the hours of 11:00 PM and 09:00 AM on Holidays and Sundays.

5(2) Except to the extent permitted by the Bylaw, no Person shall:

(a) disturb the peace and quiet of another Person by causing or creating Noise within the Municipality at any time.

(b) operate within the Municipality a Motor Vehicle that causes Noise.

(c) operate within the Municipality an Off-Highway Vehicle that causes Noise.

5(3) No Owner shall allow Property they own to be used in such a way that there is Noise originating from the Property.

5(4) A Peace Officer may direct any Person who has caused or made Noise, or any Person who owns Property from which Noise has originated, to abate or eliminate the Noise. Such a direction may be either verbal or written.

5(5) Where an activity which is not specifically prohibited by any federal, provincial or municipal laws or regulations, including this Bylaw and which involves creating or making a sound which is or may become Noise, the Person engaging in such activity shall do so in such manner as to create as little sound or Noise as practicable under the circumstances.

5(6) No Person shall, during Quiet Time, load or unload Motor Vehicles in any area designated as Residential pursuant to the Municipality Land Use Bylaw 2021-17.

5(7) No Person shall, during Quiet Time, without the written approval of the Chief Administrative Officer or his/her designate carry-on construction of any type which, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, involves hammering, sawing or the use of any Construction Equipment capable of creating a sound which may be heard beyond the boundaries of the Property on which the activity is being carried out.

5(8) No Person shall, during Quiet Time, operate a lawn mower, snow removal machine, chain saw, or any other motor driven machine in any Residential Zoned Land.

5(9) No Person shall own, keep, or harbor any animal including dogs, cats, rabbits, or other domestic animal or bird which by its cries or sounds disturbs the peace, quiet, rest, or tranquility of the surrounding neighborhood or the public at large.

5(10) No Person shall operate or allow to be operated any sound amplifying equipment from, or which may be heard in, any Public Place without the written approval of the Chief Administrative Officer, or his designate, who may impose conditions on such operations.

5(11) No person shall operate Engine Retarder Brakes when driving within the Municipality.

5(12) The Chief Administrative Officer may upon written request issue a Permit to a Person for the purpose of temporarily exempting the Person or activity from the Noise provisions of this Bylaw.

5(13) A Permit issued under this Bylaw shall.

(a) include the dates and hours during which Noise may occur.

(b) name and address of Person or organization requesting the exemption.

(c) telephone number of Person or organization requesting the exemption.

(d) include a fee of $50.00 payable to the Municipality.

(e) be produced to a Peace Officer upon demand.

5(14) Persons owning or controlling Construction Equipment, and Persons owning or controlling land on which Construction Equipment is being operated shall be exempt from section 5(2)(a) of this Bylaw if:

(a) the Noise is generated pursuant to work done in the normal manner to the industry.

(b) the Noise is generated other than during Quiet Time; and

(c) all necessary federal, provincial and municipal permits, licenses and approvals have been obtained and the work is not contrary to any federal, provincial or municipal laws or regulations.

5(15) Section 5 of this Bylaw does not apply to:

(a) public works carried on by the Municipality or its agents, contractors, servants or employees acting within the scope of the agency, contract, or employment.

(b) community events.

(c) agricultural use of equipment or an Audible Scare Device that is a minimum of 500 meters away from occupied Residential Premises (other than premises occupied by the Person(s) utilizing the device); and

(c.1) persons in possession of certificate/authorization issued by the Minister per Part 1 of the

Agricultural Operation Practices Act RSA 2000, c. A-7,

(d) persons in possession of a Permit issued under section 5(12) of this Bylaw, provided they comply with the terms and conditions of such Permit.

5(16) No person shall place or direct auxiliary lighting in such a way as to illuminate property that is not owned, leased, or rented by them.

5(17) No person shall allow light from the property they own, lease, or rent, to illuminate neighbouring property, to be a nuisance to neighbouring property owners.

Compliance Notice by a Peace Officer or Designated Officer

6(1) Where any Property in the Municipality is in the opinion of a Peace Officer or other designated officer to be Untidy, Unsightly, Unsafe or of a Nuisance; the Officer may give notice in writing to a Person who is under a duty imposed by this Bylaw to prevent such a condition to remedy the same, and the Peace Officer may direct that this be done in such a manner as the Peace Officer or other designated officer deems advisable on or before a day to be specified in the notice.

6(2) A Peace Officer or other designated officer may allow up to fourteen (14) days from the date of delivery of a notice for its compliance or in extenuating circumstances such further or another period as may be appropriate.

6(3) A Peace Officer or other designated officer may serve a notice by:

(a) delivering it or sending it by ordinary or registered mail to the Owner of the Property.

(b) posting it to the door of a building or in any other conspicuous place on the Property, and service is effective on the day of the posting: or

(c) delivering it in person or mailing it to any Owner, Occupant or agent, and service is effective upon receipt or deemed receipt.

Property Inspections

7(1) A Peace Officer is authorized to enter any land, Building or Property to inspect for conditions that may constitute a contravention of this Bylaw in accordance with section 542 of the Act.

7(2) No person shall prohibit or interfere with a Peace Officer conducting an inspection authorized under section 7(1) of this Bylaw.

Public Nuisances

8(1) No person, in or near a Public Place or Public Building, shall obstruct, hinder or interrupt the passage of vehicles, traffic or pedestrian traffic through, from or to such Public Place or Public Building.

8(2) No person, in or near a Public Place or Public Building, shall disturb the free use and enjoyment of the Public Place or Public Building by any other person or violate any bylaw, rule, regulation, or posted notice approved by Council or any person in control of, maintaining or supervising the Public Place or Public Building.

8(3) No person shall:

(a) litter in or on a Public Place or private Property.

(b) tip, damage, interfere with or remove trash from any public waste bin.

(c) urinate in or on a Public Place or any place the public is allowed access, other than in a facility designed and intended for such use.

(d) defecate in or on a Public Place or any place the public is allowed access, other than in a facility Designed and intended for such use.

(e) spit on any street, Sidewalk, pathway, trail or in or on any Public Place or any place the public is allowed access.

(f) loiter in a Public Place.

(g) engage in Panhandling.

(h) stand, sleep or put their feet on the top surface of any table, bench, planter or sculpture placed

in any Public Place or Public Building; or

(i) use a privately owned waste receptacle unless the Person has the legal right to do so.

8(4) No person shall create or apply Graffiti on any Building or object in a Public Place without the prior approval of the Owner and Council.

8(5) No Person shall, without lawful excuse, have in their possession any instrument suitable for the purpose of applying Graffiti, under circumstances that give rise to a reasonable inference that the instrument has been used or is or was intended to be used for such purpose.

8(6) Any Owner who wishes to allow Graffiti to be placed on their property must first obtain written approval from Council prior to allowing the Graffiti to be placed on the Property.

8(7) In addition to any other penalty under this Bylaw, any person who violates this section may be removed from the Public Place or Public Building.

Harrassment / Fighting

9(1) No person shall, in or near any Public Place or any place to which the public reasonably has access:

(a) interrupt or disrupt the normal course of events or activities by (i) fighting, screaming, shouting, swearing, or using insulting or obscene language, (ii) being intoxicated or inebriated by alcohol or another drug or substance, or (iii) impeding or harassing other persons.

(b) communicate, cause or permit communication, either directly or indirectly using any medium, with any person in a way that would cause a person, reasonably under any circumstances, to feel intimidated, bullied or harassed.

(c) participate, encourage, or support any person engaged in an act of intimidation, bullying or harassing, under any circumstances, whether of another person or a group of persons.

(d) cast, project or throw any object, rocks or stones, balls of snow or ice or other missiles or cause any object to be a projectile, including any firework, or use any bow or arrow, catapult, or other such device on any of Highway or Public Place of the Municipality in any manner which is dangerous to the public; or

(e) participate in a fight or other similar physical confrontation.

9(2) Any person who contravenes section 9(1) is guilty of an offense.

9(3) In the prosecution for a contravention of this section, the court may, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, infer from the evidence of a Peace Officer relating to the conduct of a Person or Persons whether ascertained or not, that an offense described in section 9 was caused or occurred.

Sewer and Water

10(1) No person shall:

(a) bypass a water meter.

(b) operate CC without Municipal permit.

(c) operate a hydrant without Municipal permit.

(d) fail to connect to the Municipal sewer and water system by date.

(e) dump sewage onto public or private property

(f) tie sump pump into sewer system, or weeping tile.

(g) discharge non-compliant substances into a lagoon.

(h) fail to submit manifest by prescribed date.

(i) be non-compliant with an issued permit.

Tobacco and Smoking

11(1) No person shall Smoke or Vape:

(a) in any Public Building or a Public Transit Bus.

(b) in or on an (i) outdoor skating rink, (ii) playground, (iii) skate park, (iv) sports field, or (v) outdoor park or recreation area to which the public has access as of right of by express or implied invitation; or

(c) within 5 meters of an entrance or exit to any Public Building.

11(2) No person shall remove, alter, conceal, deface or destroy any sign posted indicating that smoking is prohibited pursuant to this Bylaw.

11(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Bylaw, the prohibitions set out in section 11(1) do not apply to any Residential Premises and surrounding land on the same lot or parcel.

Cannabis

12(1) No person shall Smoke, Vape or consume Cannabis within the boundaries of the Municipality, except for:

(a) private Property where such use has been authorized by the Owner and is permitted under provincial legislation or the Cannabis Act; and

(b) in an authorized designated area where a Permit has been issued under section 13(5) of this Bylaw.

Designated Areas

13(1) Notwithstanding section 12, a person may Smoke, Vape or consume Cannabis in a Public Place at an Event for which a Permit has been granted by the Chief Administrative Officer.

13(2) The Chief Administrative Officer may impose conditions on a Permit granted pursuant to section 13(1).

13(3) The Chief Administrative Officer may suspend or revoke a Permit issued pursuant to section 13(1) if the Chief Administrative Officer determines that a Permit holder or any Person at an Event for which a Permit has been issued has contravened any federal or provincial legislation, this Bylaw or conditions of the Permit.

13(4) The holder of a Permit issued pursuant to section 13(1) must ensure that:

(a) the Smoking, Vaping or consumption of Cannabis is only permitted in a designated area, separate and fenced off from the remainder of the Event.

(b) the designated permitted area must be a minimum of 15 meters away from the Event as well as any other designated alcohol or Smoking area.

(c) alcohol is not consumed in the area designated for the Smoking, Vaping or consumption of Cannabis.

(d) the sale of Cannabis is not permitted in the area designated for the Smoking, Vaping or consumption of Cannabis; and

(e) any advertising or other materials relating to the promotion of Cannabis cannot be seen by Persons under the age of 18.

13(5) A Permit issued under this Bylaw shall.

(a) include the name and address of the Person or organization requesting an exemption.

(b) include the telephone number of the Person or organization requesting an exemption.

(c) include a fee of $50.00 payable to the Municipality.

(d) be produced to a Peace Officer upon demand.

13(6) Council may by resolution designate areas located on Municipality owned Public Places in which Cannabis may be Smoked, Vaped or consumed.

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