Saturday August 17, 2019 – As I was digging through the mass of paper associated with this mess, I did notice that we’d asked for the front deck to be repaired/painted quite some time ago. There’s a tread in the stairs that is badly cracked, another has rotted and about 90% of the paint is gone. I’d mentioned it to Agostino when I called to complain about the noise a couple of days ago. So I called a complaint to Property Standards about the deck. While I was at it, I also complained about the vehicle always parked on the grass beside the driveway (also a no-no in Hamilton).

From the Hamilton Property Standards Bylaw:

All Exteriors
8(1) All exterior surfaces of a building, structure, fence or retaining wall, including a mobile structure or building, shall be of materials which resist deterioration by the weather or have resistant coatings applied to them, except that a farm building may have unprotected wood surfaces.


12(3) A tread or riser of an exterior or interior stairway that shows excessive wear or is broken, warped or loose and all supporting structural members that are rotted or deteriorated shall be repaired or replaced.

The I told Agostino not to bother picking up the written request. (John would just ignore it anyway).

Here’s the upper surface of the deck, and the offending treads.

Fig 121 – front deck 2019-08-21 – 20190821_121831 (1)
Fig 122 – front deck 2019-08-21 – 20190821_121822

A minor Property Standards complaint, for a minor violation. I doubt the city will write a compliance order for this one; more likely they’ll tell John to paint the damned deck. Or, maybe this isn’t a Property Standards violation. It looks like one to me, but the way these bylaws are enforced in this city, who knows?

Monday August 19, 2019 11:15 – I received a call from Jason Mai, from Property Standards. He advised me that the parking issue was something I’d have to complain about to Parking Enforcement. (I doubt I’ll bother. About the only reason I mentioned it was that I was already on the phone with Property Standards. It isn’t worth the resources; that car parked on the grass is a minor pain in the ass. But Richard should know better.)

He told me he’d look into it and get back to me. Our conversation is here (AR 163):

AR 163 – 2019-08-19 complaint to bylaw about deck – phone_20190819-113144__19059731718

Tuesday August 20, 2019 – 12:30 – I accidentally called Jason Mai on my cell phone (The caller ID for his number is “Michael”. I called the wrong one using my recent contacts list). I hung up before he answered, but he called back. So I asked him about the complaint. He told me he had issued a “notice” for John to repair or replace the surface of the deck and the treads. The “notice” expires on September 13, 2019 (three weeks, plenty of time for John to fix it). I told him I’d call back on the fourteenth if John hadn’t complied. I’m not sure if he meant a compliance order or not, but I’ll stop in at Jackson Square tomorrow (if I have time) and ask for a copy from Property Standards. If it was a compliance order, they’ll hand over a copy with names redacted. If not, I’ll see what happens and wait for John to fix it. He also asked me about my complaint about the parked car, and I told him it wasn’t worth pursuing. Our conversation is here (AR 164):

AR 164 – 2019-08-20 conversation with bylaw about deck complaint – phone_20190820-122807__19059731718

{Update March 3, 2021): I didn’t make it to bylaw offices until some weeks later, when I got a copy of Notice of Contravention and Request for Voluntary Compliance Jason Mai had written to John on August 19, 2019. (Doc 353). Mr. Mai agreed with me about the violations of Section 8(1) and 12 (3) and found a further violation of Section 12(1). He didn’t fine John, and gave him a month to repair the deck. As usual, John didn’t start work until the last possible minute, with maximum hassle, and missed the deadline by four days. But at least the deck got painted.

Mr. Mai was a refreshing change from the Shewfelt/Lord MLE shitshow (Jn 2017-August 2017) and the fiasco at 6 Acorn. It was a lot more in line with the Steve Woods experience (August 2017-September 2017).The Request for voluntary compliance he wrote is (Doc 353).

To date, that makes (unless I’ve missed one or two) eight compliance orders from the City of Hamilton against the property at 97-99 East Ave South as a result of my or Marie’s complaints: two in Jan 2017 (Doc 042 and Doc 043), one in Feb 2017 (Doc 60), two in July 2017 (Doc 131 and Doc 132), one in August 2017 (Doc 153), one in May 2019 (Doc 285.5) and this one (Doc 353).

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