We recently on this blog, questioned bylaw enforcement for such issues as sign regulation, use of fireworks and unsightly premises within the City of Cranbrook. We are not sure why these bylaws are not enforced but it appears The Sunshine Coast has been taking this issue quite seriously with its new pilot program for enforcement. Would something like this be worth considering?
Here is their press release:
New Bylaw Enforcement System Saves Court Time and Money
Sechelt, BC – August 29, 2011 — The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) has adopted a pilot program for a new adjudication and enforcement model for bylaw infractions called the Bylaw Enforcement Notice System. The pilot project will involve ports and sprinkling regulations. "The new bylaw adjudication system shows what we can do when local government and the province work together to find creative solutions," says Garry Nohr, SCRD Board Chair. "This new system has many benefits for Sunshine Coast residents, including reducing the costly, time-consuming process associated with not only issuing a ticket under the current Municipal Ticket Information (MTI) system but disputing bylaw offences through the court system as is currently required,” says Nohr. “The Bylaw Enforcement Notice system will run concurrently with the MTI system”
The new system, as set out in the provincial government’s Local Government Bylaw Notice Enforcement Act, is intended to resolve disputes in a simple, cost-effective manner at the local level rather than through the Provincial Court System. It will improve efficiency in serving tickets, paying and collecting fines as well as delivering a streamlined process to the public. Those wishing to dispute their ticket may do so by contacting the Regional District within 14 days of issuance. At that point, the adjudication is a three step process:
1. The individual disputing their ticket (disputant) will have the opportunity to speak with a Screening Officer. The Screening Officer will review the ticket and may cancel it, confirm it, or enter into a compliance agreement if appropriate. If the ticket is confirmed by the Screening Officer, the disputant may pay the fine or request adjudication.
2. If adjudication is requested, the adjudicator must provide the parties to the dispute with an opportunity to be heard. The disputant can request service by mail, fax, phone, email or in person. The Regional District will always present their case in writing to the adjudicator.
2. Adjudications will be conducted at the Regional District Administration Building or other available facility where the public can attend. The adjudicator will determine whether the bylaw notice should be cancelled or upheld. If the notice is upheld, an adjudication fee of $25 will be charged to the disputant to assist the SCRD in recovering the costs of the adjudication system.
For more information visit http://www.scrd.ca/files/File/Community/Building/BEN-Info-Sheet-and-Backgrounder.pdf
Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.