A Thulin Street homeowner will likely be forced by the city to relocate a hedge on his property despite his pleas to have council reconsider.
Steve Mitchell attended Monday night’s council meeting to request council reverse a remedial action order to cut down his five-foot tall hedge to no more than one metre.
The order was issued by city council at its Aug. 8 meeting due to safety concerns. City staff’s position is that the hedge, which runs along the corner of Thulin Street and 3rd Avenue reduces visibility for drivers pulling up to the intersection.
City Clerk Peter Wipper said the issue is that the hedge doesn’t provide for the sight distance requirements as outlined in the city’s bylaw.
Mitchell questioned that.
He said that according to the city bylaw, which he had researched and presented to council, his hedge would have to be 2.4 metres back from the intersection.
“It states very clearly, the intersection,” Mitchell said. “This hedge is 4.3 metres, 14 feet, back from the intersection and it’s 1.6 metres in height – five feet.”
But Wipper said those bylaw regulations are not referring to the distance from the road.
“That 2.4 metres is from your property line,” Wipper said.
“That’s not the way I perceived it,” said Mitchell, who received some support from Mayor Andy Adams.
Adams said that while he can appreciate the need for a safe intersection, there are others in the city that are far worse.
“I really struggle,” Adams said. “I know council passed a bylaw and it’s up to staff to enforce it and do their due diligence, but when I take a look at some of the intersections along Alder that are high traffic, that are far more at risk and dangerous than this one that is in a low traffic area and is set back, I’m really challenged by that, as to ‘what are we doing?’”
Adams was also curious about the current status of the remedial action notice which gave Mitchell just 30 days from the date of issue to trim the hedge.
Wipper said there is some flexibility.
“I’d like to think that although 30 days have been given, that (city) staff could take some more time to ensure that this hedge is dealt with in the most sensitive manner as possible, knowing that we don’t want to move it anymore than Mr. Mitchell does,” Wipper said.
Mitchell asked that if the hedge, which was planted in 2004, has to be moved that he be given a timeline extension.
“If we are going to have to move it, I would request that we do it at the time that gives the hedge the best chance at survival which would be either January or February,” Mitchell said. “That would take some of the stress out of it.”
Wipper agreed that the city could do that, and suggested that city staff bring a report back to council outlining options for relocating the hedge if council wanted “to put a hold on the time limit.”
Council agreed with that, and directed staff to prepare the report.