Caledon fights illegal trucking yards

Abdul Latheef

Caledon

Caledon MapCALEDON, Ont. – The small Ontario town of Caledon has set up a task force to address the illegal occupation of its land by nearly 100 trucking businesses.

The town council acted last week after a staff report proposed a three-phase Work Plan to tackle squatting.

The Proactive Land Use Enforcement Task Force will cost the town $477,000 this year, and $620,000 annually after that.

The implementation of the plan is expected to begin in spring, but the town has acknowledged that it will take years of proactive enforcement to make an impact.

“Our land is under serious threat from illegal parking, storage and operations related to commercial trucking,” Mayor Allan Thompson lamented in a letter to Caledon Enterprise ahead of the council debate.

“These illegal users have set up shop here to take advantage of our proximity to the Greater Toronto Area.”

Caledon, with a population of just under 75,000, is part of the Regional Municipality of Peel, the trucking hub of Ontario.

“They are difficult to prosecute… For many operators, a fine is just cost of doing business. They pay the fine and keep on trucking,” the mayor wrote.

CaledonWork Plan

Phase 1 of the Work Plan will focus on the development and implementation of a communication strategy.

“This approach may foster voluntary compliance, and supports prosecution efforts where compliance is not achieved,” the staff report said.

Phase 2 calls for the hiring of a solicitor, zoning administrator and two enforcement officers.

And, Phase 3 will involve the monitoring of the program. The task force will track key statistics and update the council periodically.

In his letter, Mayor Thompson expressed frustration over the issue.

“Contrary to popular belief, the town cannot simply storm these offending properties and tow everything away,” he said.

“Unlike the offenders, Caledon must act responsibly and follow the rule of law.”

He extended an olive branch to those who want to work with the town, saying Caledon will give them the opportunity to comply.

“If they don’t, we will go after them, again and again, until they get the message that it’s not business as usual in Caledon.”

The town is about 40 miles (60 km) northwest of Toronto.

 

Abdul Latheef

Abdul Latheef is the associate editor of Today’s Trucking and trucknews.com. He has extensive international experience as a reporter and editor. Reach him at abdul@newcom.ca

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    • These yards are located on land zoned residential. Generally in protected areas i.e. the “green belt”. As far as small business go the zoning will never change to accommodate them. The majority of these yards are on on “no truck” roads. A house or land goes up for sale with an acre or more of land and within no time it’s full of dump trucks, gravel haulers, or tractor trailers. The industrial area in the south end of Bolton is expanding and is zoned for commercial use. This is what the mayor was referring too.

  • Don’t we already have bylaw officers too enforce and a solicitor on staff.
    Seems a waste of our hard earned money building another empire .
    We are a progressive town, why didn’t we do something about the problem in the beginning.
    You can’t say that you didn’t see it coming.

  • Two enforcement officers are not going to be enough. Plus, if you really want to get the company’s attention you will have to fine them on a regular basis, hit them where it hurts. Their bottom line!

  • Caledon has become a giant truck parking lot. Beautiful homes are being bought and converted to truck storage lots. The city needs to change thing quickly! Large fines for offenders!

  • I’m sure the city of caledon has some unused piece of land that they can allocate to parking and charge a monthly fee instead of spending money, raising taxes and handing out parking tickets.

  • This is rediculous. Shut these perpetrators down, fine them heavily enough that is not just a bruise. Confiscate equipment, charge and fine the drivers. This should be a police matter.

    • Why fine the drivers? Most of them are just doing their jobs and are all too often underpaid. The carriers they work for are the problem, and a carrier willing to violate zoning laws is not a carrier willing to pay fines issued to their drivers.

  • You are harassing guys who are simply making a living. For the sake of God, just leave people alone. No one wants the Town of Caledon to snoop around, trying to create friction to justify going after truckers who are just parking their trucks.

  • Over the years this has become a rampant problem. Many of the properties being used as trucking yards are zoned residential. Caledon has not done enough to dissuade and punish the offenders. As a result, these trucking companies have reduced the quality of life and created safety hazards for many of Caledon’s law-abiding citizens. The disregard of bylaws by businesses, and the lack of meaningful action to date by the town of are shameful. This problem needs to be fixed now as it is already out of control!