On the recent Family Day long weekend I opened the local newspaper to find out that a Public Participation Meeting for citizens was being advertised: Londoners were being invited to comment on some proposed changes to what is currently called the Clearing of Land By-law PW-9. Included with some proposed regulatory changes to do garbage and graffiti were proposed regulations to do with the size, enclosure and placement of composters, and regulations about leaf composting!
Those of you who read my regular posts can imagine the steam that came out of my ears! How could anyone think that a tidyness bylaw or a committee to do with public safety could ever be the place to put composting?!!
Compost is not refuse or garbage. Compost is valuable, living, organic material which puts nutrient into soil, aerates soil and increases its ability to hold moisture.
In London, right now, homeowners' gardens are prized and praised on our urban boulevards ... and every one of them is illegal under bylaws! City committees discuss outdated City infrastructure as relates to rainwater run-off and the overburdened sewage system; there could be encouragement of innovative, bio-diverse plantings on properties to hold rainwater.Discussions on many aspects of gardens and urban agriculture should have begun years ago between Londoners and City staff from all sorts of departments. Bylaw changes have been promised for years.
In my longstanding opinion, London Ontario - and every city - should be making public statements about gardens and urban agriculture that begin something like this: Our City welcomes all styles of gardens and respects the innovation, knowledge of experience of gardeners of all types.
The Public Participation Meeting I've mentioned will be part of the Public Safety Committee meeting on Tuesday, March 6, 2012. The meeting itself starts at 4:00 p.m. The actual time of the Public Participation part of this meeting should be listed on the meeting agenda, which should be posted on the City website Friday afternoon, March 2. http://www.london.ca/d.aspx?s=/Meetings/Default/meetingpackages.htm
You do not have to be registered to speak at the Public Participation Meeting part of this. There is always a call for people to get up and speak.
If you want more information, including the full draft of changes and the current bylaw, email Community Gardens London and one of the elves will get back to you: firstname.lastname@example.orgCommunity Gardens London generally tries to post events of interest to gardeners in London, and posts interesting news items as they come along. The proposed changes to do with composting are posted on both its News and Events page. www.communitygardenslondon.ca
I'll certainly be at London City Hall (Dufferin Avenue) on Tuesday, March 6. Hope to see you there too!