Esquimalt canopies go under microscope

Some are rusted, bent and unstable, their tarps torn and in some casings missing completely.

Unsightly and potentially hazardous temporary structures – such as driveway canopies – are once again attracting attention in Esquimalt.

Council is planning to revisit – with resident input – the township’s aging temporary accessory buildings bylaw.

“People are not following the bylaw as it is,” said Mayor Barb Desjardins, adding that size restrictions, among other rules, are not being respected.

“I think it’s because times have changed and that we have so many toys,” Desjardins said of canopy popularity.

But Coun. Bruce McIldoon stressed the importance of enforcing the current bylaw until it can be amended.

“We can’t turn a blind eye until 2012,” he said. “We need to find a happy medium.”

But Barbara Snyder, Esquimalt’s director of development services, said the structures are often left up permanently, leading to their wear and tear.

No written complaints about the structures have been submitted since the issue was last visited in 2009. At the time, council told staff to not enforce bylaw infractions.

“It’s important that you review to make sure your bylaws are relevant,” said Desjardins, who hopes residents will contribute to the discussion. “In that way you get an education process as well.”

emccracken@vicnews.com