The grass is always cleaner in Langford and according to a city bylaw official, Langford residents are pretty good about keeping it that way.
Bylaw complaints for unsightly premises have declined since the late ’90s and early 2000s according to Lorne Fletcher, manager of community safety and municipal enforcement with the City of Langford.
Fletcher said it was around that time that the city started to see landscaping in the downtown core and guidelines on building appearances. He said the city began to become more refined.
“All of these started to convey to the public that we were taking pride as a community,” Fletcher said. “As a result of that, new arrivals and even those long-term residents started to say ‘we are part of a proud community here.’”
Fletcher said that now, about one or two complaints a month come in about properties that may not be up to the standard of surrounding residents.
The unsightly premises bylaw refers specifically to properties that have “accumulations of garbage, interior furniture or appliances out in the yard, graffiti, pet feces, derelict trailers, etc.” according to the city’s website.
It does not refer to poorly maintained properties, weeds or overgrown lawns.
“The title of the bylaw is a bit misleading because often times people believe that means their subjective approach can be applied and that’s not anywhere near the case,” Fletcher said. “There’s more of an objective design to that bylaw.”
More common bylaw complaints, according to Fletcher, have to do with things like noise, heavy truck traffic on certain roads and people being unhappy about the way someone has parked on their street.
“Council does not have an interest in over-regulating the residents of Langford,” Fletcher said. “[They have] been deliberate in their approach to designing and regulating bylaws.”