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New boulevard maintenance by-law brings new responsibilities for Uxbridge property owners


DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard


UXBRIDGE: At the Monday, June 24th council meeting, Hilary Williams, Director of By-law/Animal Services for Uxbridge Township, presented a report emphasizing the critical role of municipal boulevards. These areas between roadways and private properties contribute significantly to neighborhood aesthetics, infrastructure space, and safety. Despite their importance, maintaining these boulevards often becomes ambiguous due to the lack of specific regulations in Uxbridge.

Currently, the township does not have a by-law mandating property owners to maintain adjacent boulevards or enforcement measures for By-law Officers or Public Works. As a result, Public Works staff handle complaints about long grass, weeds, or obstructions, incurring taxpayer expenses. A new by-law would streamline boulevard maintenance, provide enforcement tools, and clarify property owners' responsibilities.

Williams highlighted several benefits of a dedicated by-law. Well-maintained boulevards enhance community appearance, boost property values, and promote pride. Proper maintenance also ensures clear sightlines for drivers, reducing accident risks, and prevents overgrown vegetation that can harbor pests and allergens, thus contributing to public health.

Challenges faced due to the absence of a by-law include uncut grass, debris buildup, and unauthorized structures on boulevards. These issues pressure the Public Works Department and increase municipal costs. A new by-law would clearly define property owners' responsibilities, offer enforcement measures, reduce Public Works’ burden, and lower taxpayer costs. It would also foster community engagement by encouraging residents to maintain and enhance their boulevards, and implement safety regulations for boulevard usage.

Williams concluded that adopting a Boulevard Maintenance By-law, as done by several other municipalities in the area including Brock and Whitby, would provide an efficient, cost-effective approach, benefiting the community aesthetically and functionally while promoting environmental stewardship.

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