The motion to introduce a $10 refundable permit was approved at Monday night's council meeting — the last for the current council before the Sept. 26 municipal election.
This action came about in response to a letter from a resident of Sheppard's Road outlining traffic concerns related to a flea market in the neighbourhood. Deputy Mayor Paul Brazil, who chaired Monday's meeting, said the issue has come before council numerous times. Coun. Tony Dominix noted there have been cases where the driveways of homeowners have been blocked due to flea market shoppers, and also spoke of public safety issues arising from vehicles parked in less than ideal locations.
It was Coun. Brenda Seymour who suggested the permit solution could give the town some authority in controlling when and where flea markets take place for at least two days, leaving the decision to issue a permit at the town manager's discretion.
"At least we'll have some sort of control," she said. "The town will know when they're holding it, and we'll know when they're stopping it. And I'm hoping this might alleviate some of this issue about an ongoing personal flea market all summer and half the winter. It's really of no cost to the individual."
Questions were raised about enforcement, though it was later acknowledged the town foreman position has enforcement duties written into the current job description.
Town manager Tony Ryan suggested there might be bylaw considerations to take into account with the new permit. Councillors agreed to have the new council, once it is sworn in, look after the full implementation of the permit process.