Fort St. John city councillors are looking for reviews and potential updates to the city’s snow clearing policy and property standards bylaw.
Mayor Lilia Hansen and Coun. Trevor Bolin brought forward two notices of motions on the matters on Monday’s council meeting.
The city has received 54.4 centimetres, or about 21 inches, of snow since the Christmas holidays according to Environment Canada data.
The city’s snow removal policy generally requires snow and ice to be cleared after snowfall accumulations between 5 to 15 cm, or about two to six inches, over a 72 hour period, with greater level of clearing requirements for greater amounts of snowfall.
Mayor Hansen’s notice of motion calls for city staff to initiate a review and analysis of the current policy, last updated in 2019, to be presented to council.
Coun. Bolin, meanwhile, gave notice of a motion to look at incorporating commercial properties into the city’s property standards bylaw, which governs unsightly premises.
The bylaw currently sets out standards and fines for matters such as derelict vehicles, graffiti, litter, garbage and yard waste, noxious weeds, and other required property maintenance.
It doesn’t, however, includes standards for snow clearing and parking lot maintenance such as filling potholes for private businesses, of which several residents have taken to social media to voice their concerns about in recent days.
In giving his notice, Coun. Bolin said a recommendation from city bylaw officers and planners could “include any potential aspects that could cause damage to the public, which is not in there, as well as snow clearing and removal that could cause safety or damage issues that are not in there.”