PUSLINCH - Council has approved a bylaw that will prohibit and regulate publicized displays such as Christmas or Halloween public displays on private properties.
Council approved the bylaw that will implement an application and permit process to reduce the public nuisance and potential safety issues that arise as a result of the assembly of publicized displays.
The bylaw will not apply to festivals, parades, or publicized displays that occur on public property; it will only apply on private properties.
“This is the third draft of the publicized display bylaw. We had our first and second draft last year with some concerns from the council that we needed to address. The third draft is just a clean up of the bylaw and adding some clarifications to the preamble,” explained Ivan Lunevski, township’s bylaw enforcement and property standards officer, during the meeting.
Coun. Matthew Bulmer expressed his enthusiasm with the bylaw, noting that people may find this bylaw as council being opposed to residents putting public displays.
However, in actuality, it creates a balance of allowing public displays for those who want to do it and a regulation for those who find it a nuisance.
“It doesn’t require anybody to get a permit for a popular display until such time that that display becomes a significant nuisance to the neighbours,” explained Bulmer.
“I know we have a few displays in the township looking to raise awareness and money for charities and they don’t bother anybody. But I’m also aware that these can grow to be a problem for neighbours if they’re not managed properly.”
Council also directed staff to contact the affected residents to give them notice of the new bylaw.
“Those who are contacted with the notice does not mean that they have to get the permit, only if they have a history of neighbours complaining of it being a nuisance,” explained Bulmer.
Township staff will assess all applications and may apply conditions before issuing a permit. If staff deem the display is likely to cause a nuisance that cannot be mitigated, the permit will not be issued.
Conditions could include restricting dates and times the display can operate, extra insurance, putting up "no parking" signs, and picking up garbage.
Applicants are advised to submit applications 60 days before the display is to be operating to ensure time for staff to review the application, neighbours to be notified, and council to make a final decision should the staff decision be appealed.