City of Ottawa Community and Protective Services Committee Meeting – Thurs Sept 19 – 9:30 am

Dear Neighbours,

There is a not so good development on the proposed amendments to the Property Standards Bylaw concerning the requirement to place blue, green and black bins in the rear and side yards and the restriction of the use of indoor furniture outdoors. Councillor Fleury has advised ASH that Councillors of non-core wards are NOT supportive of the proposed amendments and will vote them down. It appears that some individuals do not like to be “told” what to do and that this solution for a “downtown problem” is being imposed on them. Please see page 23 of the report (attached below) for the text of the proposed amendment.

Therefore, we need a strong show of support of the proposed amendments to the Property Standards Bylaw at the Committee meeting this Thursday, September 19th, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. at City Hall. We have worked too hard and for too long to get to this point to see the amendments we need slip away. Action Sandy Hill will be represented by Christopher Collmorgen to address the Committee on Thursday. You are all encouraged to attend and to speak up. Bring your friends and neighbors. Bring those from other communities to share their views. Bring signs of support.

In addition to all the reasons why these amendments would be good for Sandy Hill, here are a few reasons why these two amendments are an issue for ALL residents of Ottawa, not just those that live downtown:

1. It will save money – Property standards complaints to 311 are the most expensive to resolve, costing on average $300.00 per call. By simplifying the rules about what can and cannot be stored at the front of the house, residents – especially young adults away from home for the first time – can more easily be educated and compliant with the property standards bylaws. A reduction in the number calls is a savings for ALL taxpayers, regardless of where they live.

2. It is a safety issue – Since there are no smoke detectors outside, fires that start in couches left on porches – due to a carelessly discarded cigarette, for example – are often only detected once the couch is fully engulfed. By the time the fire is detected, the couch and porch are in flames, the principle egress is no longer available, and occupants must find another way out. A recent U.S. report identified house fires that started in couches on porches as the number one cause of fire-related deaths for college students living off-campus. In addition, the close proximity of neighboring buildings means that house fires in dense urban neighborhoods are a threat to other properties, as witnessed when Ayoub’s caught fire a few years ago and the flames jumped to the neighboring property and burned off the roof to two more units. If the City of Ottawa has the chance to mitigate this threat, it has a responsibility to act in everyone’s safety to do so.

Please attend and lend your support!

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The Community and Protective Services Committee will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 19, 2013 in the Champlain Room at City Hall. Potential speakers should get in touch with Marc Desjardins (marc.desjardins@ottawa.ca) to be added to the list of public delegations.

Important highlights of the report:

  • New sections in the Property Standards By-law relating to Vacant Buildings. These new regulations set out clear standards for vacant residential, commercial and heritage properties, respectively.
  • Clear regulations for indoor furniture being used outside to become prohibited
  • Clarity on what constitutes a waste receptacle, in order to include green bins and blue/black boxes. This will allow for all waste receptacles to now be disallowed from front yards.

ASH members can touch base with Nathaniel Mullin at Nathaniel.Mullin@ottawa.ca or the Councillor’s team to discuss the details of the report.

Vacant Buildings Report 2013