Last winter’s heavy snows were said to be a 40-year event but they’re changing the way Port Moody handles snow clearing.
At Tuesday’s meeting, council gave the first three readings to amendments to the bylaw that covers snow and ice removal from roadways and sidewalks. If council adopts the amendments, the changes will mean city staff must clear excessive piles of snow dumped on sidewalks during road clearing on collector and arterial routes.
Staff had originally suggested the bylaw read that the city “may provide snow clearing of sidewalks on a priority basis” but Coun. Gerry Nuttall said that wasn’t good enough.
“On the one hand, we are requiring residents to remove snow within 24 hours of a storm but what we’re saying in the report is that we’re not going to hold ourselves to the same standards,” Nuttall said.
Property owners are required to remove snow and ice from the sidewalks adjacent to their properties no later than 24 hours after the end of a snow storm.
Coun. Mike Clay voted against the bylaw amendments, saying the 24-hour restriction is “arbitrary and unfair” but Coun. Karen Rockwell said the city’s primary concern should be for residents’ safety and the limit is necessary.
Staff are authorized to issue $100 fines to residents who don’t comply with the bylaw but the city’s director of planning, Tim Savoie, noted that bylaw officers won’t be waiting at the 25th hour to write tickets. Council supported Clay’s amendment that if the fine is paid within a week, it will be reduced to $20.