By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, July 5, 2014
Downtown task force seeks better ‘nuisance’ enforcement
The city’s downtown task force is looking into how to better enforce nuisance bylaws after a downtown property owner has formally complained about loitering.
Staff are looking at establishing a three-year pilot project between municipal law enforcement and Hamilton police to have staff dedicated to enforcing nuisance bylaws in the core.
Irene Hubar of Argon Properties Ltd. says it has been hard to attract new tenants to her property at 35 King St. E. — the former Right House — because of drug use and other unsavoury activities regularly taking place out front.
In a recent delegation to the Task Force on Cleanliness on Security in the Downtown Core, Hubar said that in addition to “visible” drug use, people have also been caught spitting on the sidewalk, urinating on the street and overflowing the garbage cans.
Knowing they can’t be forced to leave, loiterers use the bus stop as way to hang out there, she said.
Randy Gordon (who Councillor Jason Farr notes is a security guard for the building) says he’s caught people shooting up in the building.
Farr — who sits on the task force — says nuisance bylaws are already in place but that it’s a matter of enforcing them tactfully.
“I was of humble means my entire young life. You can’t judge a person by the cut of their jib,” he said, cautioning there are human rights issues that must be taken into consideration.
“We need to make sure we don’t prejudice any one segment of society … that’s crucial to me.”
At the same time, Farr said the property owners have “valid concerns” about illicit behaviour outside their doors.
“You have laws and bylaws in place for a reason … absolutely, we should do what we can to mitigate the issues.” (Source: Hamilton Spectator)