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Bylaw Enforcement

Respecting the rights of our neighbours and ensuring that our property values are maintained is an important aspect of community living. At times, however, boundaries may be crossed and the Bylaw Enforcement Officer is given the task to investigate complaints received from the public about alleged violations of various municipal bylaws.

The goal of the District is not to penalize the citizens of Vanderhoof or visitors to our Municipality but, rather, to achieve compliance through education and the provision of information in order to preserve the quality of life to which each citizen is entitled.

Policy

The District of Vanderhoof does not have the resources to formally review properties on a regular basis in order to determine whether or not its various bylaws are being complied with at all times.

Therefore, it is the policy of the District of Vanderhoof to rely on citizen complaints as a means of enforcing its bylaws. In order to encourage only valid complaints and to reduce the opportunity for intimidation and neighborhood conflict, the District of Vanderhoof wishes to establish a policy with a balance of accountability and confidentiality among the various parties to this process. The following policies shall therefore apply regarding bylaw enforcement procedures:

  1. all complaints shall be in writing and contain the name, address and phone number of the complainant and shall describe the nature and location of the alleged infraction;
  2. as a matter of practice, the identity of the complainant and the written complaint itself shall not be disclosed to the alleged violator or any member of the public; further, any response from the alleged violator shall not be disclosed in recognition of the fact that many complaints take place in the context of other disputes between neighbors;
  3. upon receipt of a written complaint, the District of Vanderhoof will initiate an investigation and should an infraction be suspected, and in considering whether a remedy is necessary, will consider such matters as the scale, number and duration of the infraction(s), the current, short and long-term impacts caused by the infraction, the potential for precedents and the resources available to resolve the matter; the District of Vanderhoof will not necessarily seek a legal or administrative remedy for all alleged infractions;
  4. the anonymity and confidentiality given to the parties under this policy cannot be assured if any investigation results in court proceedings;
  5. any requests for personal information will be refused under Section 15 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, unless consent is obtained from the person who supplied the information; however, the District of Vanderhoof is subject to orders issued by the Information and Privacy Commissioner under the Act and will not necessarily appeal an order for disclosure;
  6. copies of this policy shall be given to complainants and alleged violators before requesting their complaints/responses in written form;
  7. this policy does not preclude Administrative staff from identifying and conducting investigations and enforcement proceedings on their own initiative where this is considered to be in the public interest.

 

Print Friendly Version of the policy

To make a complaint to the Bylaw Enforcement Officer about a bylaw infraction you have witnessed please fill out and email in the Bylaw Complaint Form.