Property owners in the Village of Pemberton will be obligated to keep their frontages clear if proposed legislation is passed into law later this year as expected.
Pemberton council received a staff report on the village snow removal policies during Tuesday’s committee of the whole session, which noted that a bylaw setting out requirements for residents and businesses to keep their boulevards, ditches and sidewalks clean will be coming to council for consideration.
Although the snow removal policy stipulates that the onus is on property owners themselves to do so, a bylaw is needed to actually enforce that portion of the policy, said the report.
The report came in response to direction council gave in February, after the village spent $30,000 over-budget on its snow-clearing operations for 2011. At that time, Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy said council had asked staff to investigate “if we need to put in place a bylaw that says: ‘Thou shalt deal with your own snow.’”
The report also notes that the pending bylaw “will establish that property owners may not move snow out on to village streets.” The proposed legislation will come with a fine structure attached for council to consider as well, said the report.
But the bylaw will require property owners to keep their boulevards clear in more than just the snowy season.
“Boulevard maintenance is a four-season bylaw, so that (includes) ditch-clearing for drainage,” said Coun. Mike Richman. “It’s not just for snow clearing.”
The Boulevard Maintenance Bylaw is expected to receive further discussion from council on Sept. 18, its next scheduled meeting day.
“It’s a bit more encompassing than just snow, but we’d certainly like to have something in place by this winter season so that it’s clear to property owners what their obligations are going to be,” said Sturdy.
Meanwhile, the policy detailed what the thresholds are for snow accumulation before removal efforts are undertaken. It states that “major arterial streets” and village-maintained sidewalks should be cleared once snow is at a depth of four inches, all remaining roads once covered by six inches of the white stuff, and trails “as resources allow.”
Intersection getting second look
Council is anticipating a staff report on traffic implications for the intersection of Dogwood and Aster streets, which will be noticing a large increase in vehicles upon development of the Pemberton Benchlands and other residential subdivisions in the area.
The direction was given to staff during Tuesday’s committee of the whole.
“We’re asking staff to return with some information on traffic volumes as a result of the fact there will potentially be 550 units up the hill there, (and if) it has been factored into options for the intersection,” said Sturdy.
The mayor noted that there are options for how the intersection could be altered to better handle more vehicles, but added that property and traffic flow considerations are among issues that need to be considered.
When asked if the intersection could be described as “awkward” in its current format, Sturdy said, “I think that’s putting it kindly.”
Currently, the intersection sees traffic coming from three different directions. There is no stop sign controlling vehicles travelling south down Dogwood Street, while cars moving west along Aster Street do not have a clear view of southbound vehicles until approaching the intersection.
“The discussion revolved around making a decision that serves the long-term interests of the community,” said Sturdy. “There will ultimately be three access (points) to the Benchlands, but two of them are north of town and one of them’s a long way out, so there could be a fair amount of traffic there.”