Two companies have been fined after pleading guilty to violating the Halifax Regional Municipality’s bylaws when they illegally operated a snow removal centre out of the old Ben’s Bakery building on Pepperell Street earlier this year.
Westwood Developments Ltd., and Tracey’s Landscaping Ltd., were charged for multiple violations under the Halifax Peninsula Land Use bylaw, for operating the illegal salt depot between Jan. 15 and Feb. 25, 2019.
On Monday, both companies entered guilty pleas at Halifax Provincial Court. Each company was fined $2,800.
As Global News reported in January, a steady flow of loaders, trucks and tractors could be seen removing salt from large containers that had been placed in the parking lot of the Pepperell Street property.
The centre was reportedly disruptive for residents who lived around the impromptu depot, with residents complaining of loud noises and bright lights.
“Everywhere in the municipality we have zones, and in those zones are specific uses,” city spokesperson Brendan Elliott told Global News in January.
“On the north side of Pepperell Street, the entire street, there’s no use allowed for snow or salt operations of any kind, and we have not given out any permits for that kind of use.”
The HRM was alerted to the concerns of citizens on Pepperell Street as a result of Global News reporting and opened an investigation into the centre.
Despite directions from the HRM to cease operations, the contractor at the site, Tracey’s Landscaping, continued to operate the depot.
“We were given every indication that they would move their salt to another location, so we’re very disappointed to see that they, in fact, haven’t done that or, if they did, they’ve returned, and so we definitely will be pursuing this and asking them to vacate immediately,” Elliott told Global News in February.
By March, the depot had stopped operations.
Along with the fine, the Halifax Regional Municipality has banned Tracey’s Landscaping from bidding on any municipal contracts “of any kind” for five years.