Council to adopt ticket bylaw for enforcement

The District of Houston is reviewing a ticket bylaw, set to be adopted September 16, to enable them to use tickets to enforce bylaws.

The District of Houston is reviewing a ticket bylaw, set to be adopted September 16.

The bylaw empowers the Bylaw Enforcement Officer, Building Inspector and RCMP to enforce municipal bylaws by issuing tickets.

“Before this there was no mechanism for council to enforce bylaws,” said Chief Administrative Officer Michael Glavin.

“This is a complaint-driven process, with the exception of parking and some of the noise bylaw issues.”

The bylaw includes tickets for everything from failures to have a business licence for $100, to noise that disturbs or driving a noisy vehicle for $200, to obstructing authority for $1,000.

There are unsightly premises tickets ranging from $150 for allowing garbage to build up, to $250 for dumping trash in open spaces, to $500 for placing graffiti.

For business licence or sign infractions, tickets range from $50 to $100, and for screening and landscaping failures fines are $100.

Violations of the development bylaw may lead to tickets of $100 to $500.

Parking tickets are $100, obstructing a street is $100, and interfering with traffic is $500.

More tickets include failure to remove snow from sidewalk for $100, and impeding snow removal for $200.

Owners of unlicensed dogs could be fined $100, having pets at large is $100, allowing a dog to bark excessively is $200 and failure to muzzle a dangerous dog is $100.

All garbage disposal violations could lead to $100 fine, from having unlawful containers, to depositing animal feces waste, to having an overweight container.

Violating the standards of maintenance bylaw is $150 fine, including failure to keep a rental place weather tight or rid it of pests, to failure to maintain locks or supply proper water.

Director of Engineering John Guenther said the dollar amounts were determined by surveying other municipalities.

“These are more in the higher range rather then average range,” Guenther said, adding that the biggest fine is $1,000 for obstructing authority.

“The numbers that are given are meant to be a deterrent. It’s not meant to be a money gathering mechanism,” he said.

CAO Glavin said the fines also cover administration costs and staff time.

“It does cost the district a fair bit of money to issue these tickets,” he said.

Guenther added that issuing a ticket is very rare.

“We won’t be issuing lots of tickets… most of the time it’s a warning,” he said.

If a violation happens, the ticket process begins with warnings, then a ticket is personally delivered or left at a person’s home.

The person has fourteen days to pay the fine and accept liability for the offence, or to notify the local government that they will dispute the ticket. Ticket disputes go to court.

“It’s not a cash generating system, its a complaint-driven policy,” said Mayor Bill Holmberg.

“We’re not going to make any money off these tickets.The goal is to make people more responsible for what they’re doing.”

Police are enforcers for the traffic bylaw, animal control and noise bylaws.

RCMP Sergeant Stephen Rose says most of their enforcement will be complaint driven, and noise tickets are what they will issue most to deal with repeat offenders.

“Up to this point, all we’ve been able to do as police is respectfully ask people to turn down their music or move their party inside so that their neighbours can sleep.

However, if they refused to do so there was no enforcement action that could be taken,” Sgt. Rose said.

“It’s important because it allows us to begin making people accountable for being nuisances to their neighbours,” Sgt. Rose said.





Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

lotto max logo
Are you the lucky winner?

A $1 million ticket was bought in Burns Lake for Friday’s Lotto… Continue reading

Jill Mackenzie carefully replaces books on the shelves at the Houston Public Library. (Angelique Houlihan photo)
District approves annual library grant

Craft kits featured for summer reading club

The tradition of Houston Christian School grads giving Bibles to incoming kindergarten students will take place this year, but outdoors and in a modified fashion. (File photo)
Houston Christian School grad day is June 24

Grads themselves have set tone for the day, says teacher

Scott Richmond will be starting as the new vice principal for HSS and TSE. (Submitted/Houston Today)
Houston gets a new vice principal

Scott Richmond takes over from Dwayne Anderson who moved to Smithers

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read