Council clamps down on messy neighbour

Lake Country boat business has to clean up its yard as part of permit process

Glen Downey wants the ability to conduct his boat maintenance business in his yard during the spring and summer months.

And Lake Country council wants to help him do that by extending a temporary land use permit to him for three years.

But council is also sympathetic to the complaints registered by neighbours about his unsightly premises, located at 3362 Brun Rd., and wants to keep everyone happy.

“Three years ago when you requested a temporary land use permit, you had the support of 15 of your neighbours,” said Coun. Bill Scarrow at a council meeting last month.

“Now today, I am holding a letter with 10 signatures with a negative response to your application. Something has happened between then and now.”

The point Scarrow and other councillors acknowledged is they felt Downey was being disrespectful to his neighbours by having boats parked in his front yard along with empty jerry cans and used batteries strewn about.

Complaints were also raised about how early Downey is firing up the boat motors in the morning.

“I was impressed when I looked at this site several months ago at how it was being kept up, but when I looked at it (last Tuesday) I was concerned to see 12 boats and vehicles at my count in the yard,” added Coun. Penny Gambell, a sentiment shared by fellow councillors Rob Geier and Blair Ireland.

“That did concern me. There may be reasons for it but it’s important to consider this is a residential neighbourhood.”

Downey said he is simply trying to run a seasonal business and make a living, and that the boat clutter in his yard at the moment is not entirely his fault.

“I know in one case, we are waiting for a part and the boat will be fixed and moved, and another the boat owner can’t put his boat in the water yet because of the flooding,” he said.

Downey promised to clean up his yard but council wanted additional steps taken to ensure complaints from his neighbours aren’t sparked again.

Council agreed to extend Downey a two-year temporary use permit, put up a screen to block off the front yard view, limit the number of vehicles parked in the front yard and not starting boat motors before 7 a.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. on weekends and statutory holidays.

Council also added a six month time frame to that resolution at the July 4 council meeting for those conditions to be met or the temporary use permit will be revoked.