Unsightly premises give a bad image to the town

Monique Chiasson
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TRURO - For some people, seeing piles of garbage and visually unattractive neighbourhoods leads to unsettling memories.
"Seeing it brings back frustration and anger," said a middle-aged woman as she gazed at a pile of junk on Lyman Street Friday afternoon. The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, lives on Lyman Street but previously lived in a trailer park in Salmon River. After a year of leaks that caused mould and stairs that were falling apart, she moved out.
"I was very angry and upset ... it was causing health problems ... I was dizzy and getting headaches."
Although she has not witnessed unsightly properties on Lyman Street of that severity, any form of disarray brings back bad
memories.
And it's that time of year that often results in homeowners being slapped with an unsightly premise violation. Labinot Shala, the Town of Truro's bylaw enforcement officer and deputy building inspector, said although there has been a decrease in the amount of violations he has issued as of late, it's still a common problem in Truro.
"It gives a bad image to the town. It's generally not a safety issue but more of an eyesore," said Shala.
Although inspections occur year-round, spring and summer tend to result in more violations, he said, mostly surrounding spring cleanup. This year's cleanup period is April 20 to 24. "People start putting out their garbage for cleanup before then and it's unsightly," Shala said.
From this January to April 2, there have only been 12 notices issued which is "about 50 per cent" from last year to this point.
One of those violations went to 80 Lyman St. A Christmas tree lays in front of the apartment building near the road and furniture
and a computer tower are piled up near the driveway.
"Major dumping happens on this street all the time," said Sylvian Boisclair, the landlord of 80 Lyman St.
Boisclair said garbage collected on his property "was dumped by other people ... I've even had to move a bed off the middle of the street that someone left," he said.
Colchester County Mayor Bob Taylor said unsightly properties are an issue throughout the entire county.
"There's a lot outside of the urban area ... I think people are more aware ... when they make complaints they will be dealt with," said Taylor.
The number of unsightly property violations on record for the county has risen from 26 complaints in 2006 to 38 complaints in 2008. There have been 16 complaints in the first three months of this year already.
"The big thing is appearance ... it takes away from the beauty of neighbourhood and people take pride in their neighbourhoods," said Taylor. "And it takes away from real estate value."

mchiasson@trurodaily.com

Geographic location: TRURO, Lyman Street, Salmon River Colchester County

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