Kingston city councillor proposes good neighbour policy for leaves, snow removal

Click to play video: 'Good neighbour policy may be coming to Kingston' Good neighbour policy may be coming to Kingston
A Kingston city councillor is proposing a new policy that would impact the way residents blow and shovel snow and leaves – Nov 4, 2018

As the seasons begin to change in Kingston, the ground is covered with orange, red and yellow leaves.

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For one local couple, trading swimsuits and sunshine for rakes and snowblowers is nothing new. Doug and Jill Spettigue have lived in their home on the shores of Lake Ontario for over 40 years, and each year they look out the window and see leaves and snow accumulate on their front lawn.

“We enjoy raking leaves and preparing for the snow that we know will fall during the winter months,” said Jill.

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The Spettigues are doing their part to ensure that the leaves and snow in their yard are piled properly so that they do not spread to neighbouring properties — a duty that Coun. Jim Neill says many Kingstonians are failing to do.

“I’ve had several complaints about neighbours who blew snow and raked leaves onto their property, and we’ve always tried to negotiate with that neighbour, but we need a good neighbour policy,” said Neill.

Neill continued by saying that he wrote a good neighbour bylaw, but the municipal act doesn’t allow for it because the city already enforces rules for blowing snow and/or leaves onto roadways and city property. Still, he says a similar policy was enacted in Calgary and seems to have worked.

“A way in which this can be resolved between neighbours without making it a legal bylaw is this policy. We have staff looking into it, and I’m looking forward to Kingston adopting a similar policy,” said Neill.

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The Spettigues say a bylaw is not the answer because being a Kingstonian comes with a certain pride, and it should be reflected on the city’s streets.

On Tuesday evening, the policy will be brought to city council, and Neill says he is confident it will be passed unanimously.


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