Beginning next month, one of Council’s key strategic priorities, bylaw enforcement, will begin to be implemented in the community.
The Town’s Bylaw Enforcement Officer, hired in early 2017, will begin issuing tickets to area residents involved in minor bylaw infractions starting in late October. For the most part, in 2017 warning tickets will be issued in order to educate the public about the new system. The philosophy of bylaw enforcement in most jurisdictions is to educate and to gain voluntary compliance.
This is the first implementation step to achieve a working, fair, and innovative system of bylaw compliance developed by the Province for local governments. The new system will allow the Town to better enforce and deal with bylaw disputes for infractions such as parking and waste infractions and complaints in regards to animal control and property maintenance.
Over the past year, Town staff has spent considerable time researching best practices for bylaw enforcement and adjudication. In addition, staff implemented a fine structure that makes sense for our community and is comparable to other communities our size.
Adoption of Town of Golden Bylaw Notice Enforcement and Dispute Adjudication System Bylaw No.1380, 2017 was passed at the October 5, 2017 Regular Open Council Meeting. Council agreed to review the bylaw and fine structure again in early 2019 to determine how the process is working. The new Dispute Adjudication System will provide residents and administration with a clear process for resolution if necessary.
“A new bylaw officer and the new adjudication system has been a Council priority and was a 2017 budget item,” says Mayor Ron Oszust. “Staff, and particularly the Town’s new bylaw enforcement officer, spent considerable time drafting the bylaw, researching comparable fines, referring the bylaw out to various departments and agencies (RCMP) and legal review. I am confident that this new process will work well for our community, though it will likely take some time for residents to get used to it.”
The Bylaw Notice has many benefits, reducing:
• the costly, time-consuming process associated with disputing tickets through the court system;
• the high cost of locating and serving defendants;
• the need for witnesses to attend minor disputes;
• the costs associated with using a Provincial Court judge to hear a parking ticket dispute in court; and,
• the time bylaw officers spend in court, allowing them to concentrate on serving the public in other capacities;
Moreover, the system operates on judging infractions based upon a balance of probabilities rather than beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you would like to review the new bylaw and adjudication process, as well an FAQ sheet, visit the Bylaw Enforcement section of the Town of Golden website www.golden.ca