CITY VIEW – Bafflegab rules when trying to solve a serious problem

Posted July 3, 2013

If you live in south end residential areas where single-family homes have been converted to multi use student rentals, you may be baffled by the city’s latest attempt to solve the excessive noise and drinking problems created by students.

Basically, the city staff is requesting council to allow bylaw enforcement officers to participate in a program called “Restoratives Alternatives Program.” It is a creature proposed by the University of Guelph’s Off-Campus Living Office.

Before going any further, is Coun. Leanne Piper, employed by the university in its student housing administration, connected with this? If so. she should abstain from participating in council discussion and vote, as it could be perceived as a conflict of interest.

According to the public prints, here is how it is supposed to work.

Students with alleged bylaw infractions would meet with the neighbour who laid the complaint. They would then understand how their behaviour ticked off the neighbour and how the matter would be resolved.

They must be kidding, right?

Why would any neighbour complain about a student allegedly committing a bylaw infraction if they must sit down in a kumbyah session with a bylaw officer mediating? Arbitrating? Or throw up their hands in frustration?

To make the matter even more comical and expensive, bylaw officers are being oriented to handle these kinds of complaints in an effort to involve the parties to resort to “Restorative Justice.”

The story goes on to state, “when offender and victim are able to meet face to face, they can learn about each other.” Really?

The genesis of this serious and far-reaching problem is that homes in a legally zoned single-family neighbourhood, have been allowed to be converted to student apartments without any intervention by the bylaw enforcement department.

Now the genie is out of the bottle and the kegger parties and gross behaviour of partying students, is causing havoc in nominally peaceful neighbourhoods during the school year.

The irony is the university, with a special office to handle off-campus housing, opposed an application by Abode Varsity Living to build a private student housing project at the corner of Stone Road and Gordon Street. The OMB struck down both the university and city objections and allowed the project to proceed.

Tell me, as the university grows, where do its students live? With some 22,000 students, the university supplies only some 5,000 units on its own property.

Perhaps senior university staff should reconsider their approach to provide adequate student housing on campus.

This program of Restorative Alternatives Program is like washing a car with a toothbrush.

Once again the city taxpayers must foot the bill.

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5 Comments

Filed under Between the Lines

5 responses to “CITY VIEW – Bafflegab rules when trying to solve a serious problem

  1. OMG. This is unbelievable! Can’t wait to meet the student I call the cops on. Yes I bet they will be very cordial when the cop is there. And once gone all hell will break lose. I have students living beside me, a semi-detached converted into a LODGING HOUSE (allowed by the City). I have talked to them and am on good terms so far. I even spoke to the mother that purchased the property and told her how the last batch of students were too lazy to shovel out the end of their driveway and used mine instead and how I would not tolerate it anymore. Well guess who used my driveway last winter…..the MOTHER. They seem to think it is a shared driveway. So I am now going to greater measures. I have built planter boxes to go down the driveway about 1″ from my property line to the start of where the sidewalk is. I don’t care what the by-laws say. They are 18 inches in height. Lets see them use it now. My point is talking does nothing when there is NO RESPECT for other peoples property or rights.

  2. the viggen

    this has worked for me; I have 3 lodging houses within 100 feet. On the move-in weekends, go out and take pictures of mom and dads car licence plate, then, when they ask why, I explain that when their spawn wakes me up at 3 in the morning, I’m going to wake them up. With a little digging, it’s quite possible. This has worked absolute wonders in the last 3 years.

  3. Glen N. Tolhurst

    Restorative Alternatives Program becomes RAP as an acronym. So the bullied citizen(BC) is to sit down in the presence of a Bylaw Enforcement Officer (BEO) with the bullying tenant (BT) when said BT is sober and sufficiently coherent to rap and empathize with the BT’s excessive alcohol or weed consumption leading to his /her boorish behavior and lack of bodily function control. Well and good until the BT has 89 of his /her Best Friends (BF) over for a keg or “dime bag” or six the next weekend. Now these stoned BF’s were not involved in the RAP between the BT and BC moderated by the BEO so they don’t really give a fiddler’s fart even if their heads were on straight enough to wrap their few remaining undamaged grey cells around the concept of respect for the poor BC’s. OMG, I think the result will be an all too typical council / administration SNAFU wasting the poor BC’s tax $$$.

  4. John

    This is asinine. So another beer bottle comes flying over my fence but this time hits one of my children in the head and I’m going to sit down and discuss this with the person or people responsible. Really???? Get real.

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