Darrell Hill (file photo)

Darrell Hill (file photo)

Houston hires a bylaw enforcement officer

Position shared equally with regional district

The District of Houston now has an employee assigned to enforcing its various bylaws, a continuation of several years of work to tighten up and expand upon that capability.

Darrell Hill began work Sept. 28 and will be dividing his time equally as the District’s bylaw enforcement officer and as a bylaw enforcement officer for the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako.

Hill had been a councillor on the Village of Burns Lake council but he was required to resign, something he did last month, in order to take up his new position.

With Hill to spend half of his time in Houston, the District is contributing a maximum of $57,600 a year. He’ll be reporting to the District.

In the past the District had been relying on its fire chief for bylaw enforcement, something that was not always possible or practical given the other responsibilities tied to that position.

Hill’s hiring follows council’s passing this past spring a standards of maintenance bylaw setting out expectations and fines.

It follows complaints and representations made by residents to the District regarding the current state of some accommodations and the resulting effect on neighbourhood appearances and property values.

The bylaw enforcement officer and the bylaw also fit the District’s overall attempts to make Houston more attractive and appealing and attractive to investors and new residents.

The standards of maintenance bylaw authorizes an inspector to “enter on or into any real property or premises to ascertain whether the regulations and requirements of this bylaw are being observed.”

Building owners are required to maintain exterior walls in good repair, ensuring they are weather-tight, free from unsecured objects and materials and “maintained in a manner to prevent or retard deterioration due to weather an infestations.”