• Rob Hornberger

Town council eases restrictions on storing recreational vehicles in residential driveways, yards

New bylaw allows boats, RVs to be parked from mid-April to mid-November

The bylaw allows boats to be stored in a backyard or side yard during the winter.

KINGSVILLE — The Town of Kingsville has made it less restrictive for residents to store boats and recreational vehicles in their driveways.

Under the old comprehensive bylaw owners could store boats and RVs in their driveways for only five consecutive days three times a year.

Now it’s anytime between April 16 and Nov. 14.

Outside those dates boats and RVs can be stored in side- and backyards or an off-site storage yard.

“I believe those dates were considered to coincide with the opening and closing of marinas,” Peter Valore, the town’s chief building official, told council Tuesday.

He said the bylaw recognizes Kingsville is located next to Lake Erie and has many recreational boaters.

The new bylaw has been separated from the comprehensive zoning bylaw to allow the new provisions to be enforced more easily.

Valore said fines can be levied, but added the municipality prefers first to embark on a public education campaign rather than a heavy-handed approach to enforcement.

“I think the idea is to get the community into general compliance and for the bylaw (enforcement) officer to use some (rationality) and common sense.”

The new bylaw will also allow winter recreational vehicles, like snowmobiles, to be stored in driveways between Nov. 15 and April 15.

Council also passed a separate bylaw banning large trucks parking on town streets, but will allow building contractors to park vehicles in front of homes in the midst of construction or renovation. The contractors cannot leave their vehicles parked on the street overnight. The bylaw also bans the parking of RVs and boats on the street for safety reasons.

In other business, town council received an update on the status of Open Streets.

Karen Loney, manager of recreation programming and special events, said the town is tentatively planning to hold its first day of Open Streets on June 19.

“We’re planning to hope for the best on June 19th and pivot as soon as we know ... (if) we have to delay it, and what day we will be able to start.”

The Ontario government has announced a three-phase plan for reopening the province. The first phase is scheduled to begin June 14 and will allow outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people and outdoor dining with four people or fewer per table.

“We’re still waiting for more information,” Loney said.

Open Streets will allow businesses from outside the downtown business district to participate and use space along Division Street that was underutilized last year. There will be activities for children and stalls featuring local artists

Live music will also be featured.

Loney told council the plans for this year’s Open Streets were largely the result of input from an advisory committee made up of local businesses, arts groups and musicians.

“We had direct feedback from businesses and artists and we learned how to make the event successful.”

Open Streets will be held on Saturdays and will end Sept. 11.

For those looking to volunteer for Open Streets or businesses looking to participate, contact specialevents@kingsville.ca.

Festival of Lights train to be replaced

The Festival of Lights train used at Lakeside Park during the Christmas season has reached its last stop and will be replaced.

“It can no longer pull any passengers,” Karen Loney, director of recreation programming and special events, told council Tuesday, prior to it voting in favour of the new purchase.

In her report to council, Loney listed the mechanical difficulties of the existing train: an overheating engine, a wonky alternator unable to run lights and charge batteries, a battery that can’t hold a charge and a cracked frame.

“The entire train needs new painting, the front light post is rotted, and the rear tires need replacing,” the report said.

The cost will be shared between the town and fundraising efforts by the community.

The report said the community fund drive will hopefully raise $50,000 for the engine, caboose, passenger carts and rooftops. The train will have the capacity to carry 24 children and 12 adults.

“It’s definitely a great asset,” said Deputy Mayor Gord Queen. “It’s done everything, from Communities in Bloom to parades.”

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