Grass cutting dispute headed to court

A Winnipeg homeowner is being taken to court by the city, for refusing to mow a city-owned boulevard located beside his property.

A dispute about who should take care of the city's grassy area has been brewing ever since Winnipeg enacted a bylaw requiring homeowners to tend to land that is beside their homes.

Homeowner Richard Hykawy, however, views the bylaw as unreasonable as he does not think he should be forced to care for a property he doesn't own. He has characterized the issue as being required to do unpaid work.

"That's slavery. That's what it is," Hykawy told CBC News Friday.

He said he has ignored orders from the city to tend to the strip of grass beside his home since 2008.

"It'll get well above my knee, well above my knee and then they'll send someone out to cut it," he said, adding that the city also sends him a bill for that work.

Hykawy said he will defend himself when the court date comes around next week.

"I'm happy it's going to court, absolutely happy, because it's the only way it's going to get changed," he said.

"Where is it going to end?" he asked. "Are we going to have to shovel the sidewalks adjacent to your house? Am I going to have to change the light bulb in the street lamps?"

A spokesperson for the city said Winnipeg has been stepping up enforcement of its bylaws, especially in the case of repeat offenders.