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“Some of the inspectors were too lazy to determine whether it was a wildflower or a weed, so now they’re are lumped together,” said Zinkhan. Since 2019 he’s been mowing the lot to comply with bylaws concerning the height of the plants.
The flowers have to be under 15 centimetres, which prevents Zinkhan from growing them in the lot he owns next to his home.
The motion would require bylaw amendments to strengthen enforcement measures around noxious weeds as well as create an education program about the invasive plants.
“Weeds have been a problem in the city this year and a particular problem in new subdivisions,” said Hawkins.
Speeding up the process is crucial says Hawkins, since right now it can take 14 days for fines to be delivered to an offending home or property owner. In that time the weeds are often out of control.
At 76 years old, Zinkahn said mowing the lot can be difficult for him, so having more notice of the order would help. But he prefers to weed by hand when he can, favouring natural remedies in lieu of chemical solutions.
The motion reads that the city needs to “better define offences and to reinforce measures meant to deter offenders and deal with repeat offenders.” Low fines in place at the moment are largely ignored according to the motion which is why it asks for greater bylaw enforcement.
“Summer in Regina is short, weeds grow fast and if we don’t act quickly they’ll grow out of control,” said Hawkins.
“I have no problem with people having to cut down noxious weeds,” said Zinkhan, especially of the hardy Canada thistle.
He just hopes the sweet clover and wild liquorice in the lot will be allowed to stay if city crews come through.