Essex Council Notes for Monday, May 15

Filed under: Headline,IN THE NEWS |

by Sylene Argent

Concerns over Open Air Burn Bylaw

Essex Centre resident Andrew Tymec approached Council regarding his concerns on the Town’s Open Air Burning Bylaw.

In his opinion, there should be no fires allowed. He said he enjoys a fire as much as the next guy, but smelling smoke in his home is an annoyance when a neighbour, he claims, has an open air burn on a regular basis.

Tymec said he has called the Fire Department when smoke got bad enough to smell in his home or when he and his wife could not sit out on their porch. He was told by the Fire Department the neighbour was in compliance when they arrived.

In the bylaw, it notes those with open air burns are to be considerate of neighbours.

He was told he could get charged with making nuisance calls. It was noted during the meeting he called at least three times, including once last spring. The Fire Department suggested he could bring the concern to Council.

Tymec asked Council to reconsider the Open Air Burn Bylaw. “We need to come into the 21st century.” He said open air fires should not be allowed in Town. He later said, “I appreciate a fire…let’s be realistic, it is infringing on my quality of life.”

Fire Chief Rick Arnel explained that the Fire Department attend Tymec’s home around three weeks ago. The fire Tymec complained about was one that was being used to cook chicken outdoors. Arnel explained that the neighbour agreed to put it out as soon as he was finished cooking. He claimed there was no visible smoke noticed during that visit.

Arnel said Essex’s Open Air Burn Bylaw is consistent with other small communities. He did acknowledge though, that fires of these types are not allowed in Windsor.

Essex does not require permits for cooking fires or those that are 2’ by 2’ by 2.’ The Town issues around 6000 permits per year for fires outside of that range. The permits are free of charge. Last year, Arnel added, Essex Fire & Rescue received 18 calls that had to be investigated where people were concerned with a fire. Typically, these calls are done via a cell phone as people pass one and the individual figures there was a violation. He was not sure how many were in compliance of those numbers, but many end up having permits. Regardless, those calls still need to be investigated.

The year before, there were 32 calls when the change to the Bylaw took place. This year, to date, there have been four.

Councillor Larry Snively said he believes the situation has been blown up as there seems to be friction between two neighbours.
He had concern of the cost of sending fire trucks out to investigate these situations. Arnel noted a fire truck was not dispatched to investigate this particular situation.

Councillor Sherry Bondy said it sounds like the bylaw is fine, but ways to catch violators in the act need to be found.
Essex Mayor Ron McDermott suggested Tymec shut the window facing the smoke when the situation occurs to help, and noted he would pay the neighbour a visit to help mitigate the situation.

Tymec responded, “Now then I have to make the sacrifices.”

It is either that or shut down all the fires in Town, McDermott said. Tymec responded that was a good idea.


Notice of Intention to Designate

Council received the Notice of Intention to Designate 1215 Iler Road under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.
Further, Council agreed with the recommendations and supported the initiation of the designation process for said property, and authorized the “Notice of Intention to Designate.”

The report to Council identifies the area between Farm Lots 33 and 47 (the southeastern corner of the current Town of Essex) has been known as the Iler Settlement since the early 19th century. The Iler family is one of the area’s earliest pioneering families, having settled the area in 1808 when Jacob Iler purchased of Farm Lot 37.

That area has a lot of history. The report notes the settlement contained a church and two cemeteries and two schools. A road was eventually built out from the settlement, connecting the First and Second Concessions. It was given the name “Iler Road.” The current property accounts for a small segment of the original lot, the report continues.

Essex Council Notes for May 15 will be continued in the May 25 edition of EFP. Essex Council Notes for Monday, May 15.