NEWS

East Toronto residents targeted by bylaw complaints

07/11/2013 07:24 EDT | Updated 09/10/2013 05:12 EDT
Someone in an east Toronto neighbourhood has been making a slew of bylaw complaints about lawns and gardens that the local city councillor says are "frivolous" and tying up city resources to investigate.

According to Glenn De Baeremaeker, the councillor for the ward of Scarborough Southwest, an individual has been making dozens of complaints about properties in and around Amberdale Drive that most people would consider to be immaculately maintained.

"This one individual has launched 60 complaints in the period of about two weeks against dozens of families in one subdivision, who have actually beautiful, award-winning gardens and lawns," De Baeremaeker told CBC Radio's Here and Now on Thursday afternoon.

The councillor said the complaints involve "picture-perfect homes" that have fences that are "two inches too tall" and gardens that are slightly too close to city property.

De Baeremaeker said he has spoken in the past with the individual who has lodged the complaints, but the councillor could not say what is motivating this person to behave this way.

"I can't get into somebody's head, but I think somebody obviously is upset and angry and has issues," he said.

The councillor said the complainant does not even live on the street where the issues are being raised.

De Baeremaeker is bringing a motion before city council that, if passed, would give bylaw officers the ability to ignore mass requests from individuals seeking to harass their neighbours.

"This is so unusual, it is so egregious, it is vexatious, it is harassment," De Baeremaeker said, which is why he thinks staff need to be able to say no to complainants.

"Our officers have to be able to have the ability to say: 'Sir, you've called our office 27 times today on what appear to be frivolous things, we’re not going to go and investigate them,'" said De Baeremaeker.

His motion will go before city council next week.

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