Reid McAlpine Councillor Ward 3 Unionville

Protecting Private Property

Improving Bylaw Enforcement

Inadequate bylaw enforcement is one of the most common concerns raised by residents, particularly with respect to property standards: lawn mowing, house maintenance, litter and the like.

Reid successfully proposed (moved) a motion at Council directing our new Manager of Bylaw Enforcement and Licensing to engage an independent consultant to help review best practices and the appropriate level of staffing for our bylaw enforcement team. We need better coverage 24/7 and more pro-active enforcement. Reid is cautiously optimistic that we will see much improved bylaw enforcement beginning in 2023.

Regulating Backyard Grading, Excavation, Paving and Drainage

The city has limited powers to control what your neighbours might do to their yards, even when it affects privacy and water drainage onto neighbouring properties.

Reid successfully proposed (moved) a motion to direct city staff to report on the issue with recommendations for new bylaws to better control grading, excavation, paving and hard surfaces on residential properties.

Also, the new Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw, if approved (see immediately below), would ban installing hard surfaces in back yards beyond a certain limited percentage of the area, as is currently the case in front yards  (though badly enforced. See comments about bylaw enforcement above). Reid looks forward to reviewing this new policy.

Supporting a Simpler Zoning System

Zoning is a detailed land designation system. It regulates property use, height, density, setbacks and more. Markham currently has over 45 zoning bylaws that govern different parts of the city, filling over 10,000 pages with incomprehensible rules. It is not available digitally. This makes it difficult for residents to access, and it’s expensive for the city to administer.

A Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw project is underway to create a single zoning bylaw for Markham and to reduce 10,000 pages to perhaps 1000.

Reid is particularly concerned as to how the new Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw might impact mature neighbourhoods. It is important that the new rules help enhance our neighbourhoods and prevent inappropriate infill development. In fact this may be a opportunity to prevent some of the inappropriate infill development already happening.

Reid has been monitoring the progress of this massive project and has met with local community groups and city staff to ensure that community concerns are taken in to account. He will continue to do that through the final approval of the bylaw and through its implementation during the next term of council.

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And finally . . .

Ward 3 is home to at least three properties where the violations of bylaws have been particularly extreme over the past couple of years.

Reid works with small groups of neighbours, the bylaw enforcement team and other city departments to help ensure that, where appropriate, legal action is taken and that the neighbours impacted are kept informed of progress in resolving the issues.