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 Bylaw Compliance

Town Council is proud of the Creston community and would like citizens to understand and embrace their responsibilities and become knowledgeable about the rights of their neighbour to help create healthy neighbourhoods based on relationships of mutural respect.  We encourage citizens to be aware of the bylaws governing their property and to foster a relationship of open communication with thier neighbours.

This guide is an overview of municipal bylaws governing community issues.  It has been written to advise residents, business owners and service providers of their rights and responsibilities as members of their community.

The goal of Bylaw Enforcement (Compliance) is not to penalize the citizens of the Town of Creston or visitors to our Town 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.

Bylaw Compliance Department

The Bylaw Compliance Department is committed to serve, protect and provide a desired quality of life for citizens and visitors to the Town of Creston though education to raise awareness of community standards, and enforcement of Town Bylaws to ensure timely compliance with a professional unbiased approach.

Enforcement procedures may vary and are normally increasingly costly to the person in non-compliance, and may include direct enforcement, municipal ticketing, the seeking of a court injunction, or the laying of charges under the bylaw provisions.  Complaints may be different and the enforcement proceedings are decided upon based on the individual case.  Complaints will be handled as quickly as possible depending on the volume of complaints, co-operation of the property owner or person in violation, specific circumstances of the case, and enforcement proceedings required, completion of the complaint may have to be extended.

Some complaints received may be considered either as a civil matter between the two property owners, or as minor non-enforceable infractions.  These issues may include tree overgrowing property lines and location of property lines etc.

Bylaw Enforcement (Compliance) Officers Enforce Bylaws Adopted by Council

  • Noise
  • Recreational Vehicle Parking
  • Signs
  • Sidewalk Snow Removal
  • Nuisance Properties
  • Garbage Storage
  • Boulevard Concerns
  • Noxious Weeds and Trees
  • Open Air Burning
  • Fire Prevention
  • Parking and Traffic Regulations
  • Animal Control
  • Bulding Bylaw Regulations
  • Business Licences
  • Fireworks Regulations
  • Sewer Regulations
  • Water Regulations
  • Zoning Regulations

Bylaw Enforcement Staff - Professional Conduct

Town Bylaw Enforcement staff are considered to be ambassadors of the community and expect to conduct their job activities in a professional manner at all times recognizing the following key attributes:

Integrity:  Maintain the public's confidence and trust by acting with sincerity and transparency.

Service:  Continually strive to provide compliance and enforcement, stewardship and public safety services in collaboration with partners in the community.

Protection:  Remain committed to protecting the Town of Creston's natural environment, public health and safety and quality of life for all citizens.

Accountability:  Are accountable for personal job performance in light of their authorities, duties and responsibilities.  Are committed to measuring, achieving and reporting results and to using public funding wisely.

Impartiality:  Perform duties and interact with all people in an impartial and objective manner, without favour of ill will.

Respectfulness:  Treat Council, staff and members of the public who deal with our department with respect and courtesy.

How to Make a Complaint

Complaints need to be submitted in writing.  To make a written complaint regarding a violation of regulations contained in one of the Town Bylaws, the Bylaw Compliance Department requires the complainant to provide thier name, address, and phone number, as well as their relationship to the issues that the complainant is regarding.  Should the complainant refuse to provide this information, action may not be taken by staff.  In case related to alleged health or safety issues, this policy may be disregarded.  Complaints may be received in various ways:

  • By phone at 250-428-2214
  • By fax at 250-428-9164
  • By email to bylaw@creston.ca
  • In person at the Town Office (Monday to Friday 8:30 am - 4:30pm)

Consideration to be taken when initiating a complaint

Complainant information is considered as confidential and will not be released to the person whose property is under complaint, unless the town is ordered to do so by injunction.  The Town may request or require a complainant to act as a witness, should a case be required to be settled in court.  This is usually done as a last resort, should the Town's case be weak or should staff be unable to determine that a violation has occurred without the evidence of the complainant.

Often complaints are resolved amicably between neighbours.  As a result, and if possible, it is recommended that each resident of the Town of Creston attempt to resolve their issues before contacting the Town Office for assistance.


                                                              BYLAW ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES

  1. The Town of Creston does not have the resources to formally review properties on a regular basis in order to determine whether or not its regulatory bylaws are being complied with at all times.  Therefore, except for called inspections arising from permit applications, it is the general practice of the Town of Creston to rely on citizen complaints as a means of alerting  Bylaw Enforcement to violations of its bylaws.  The Town of Creston has established policies and procedures in order to encourage a balance of accountability and confidentiality among the various parties to this process.  This does not preclude staff of the Town of Creston initiating investigations on their own initiative.
     
  2. Bylaw enforcement investigation will be commenced on submission of written complaints.  If the preliminary investigation determines there is basis for enforcement action pursuant to the criteria set out in section 4 below, the normal bylaw enforcement procedure will be followed.  If the investigation determines there is no basis for enforcement, the complainant will be informed their complaint does not meet the criteria.  Please keep in mind that certain bylaw enforcement investigations can take several months before reaching conclusion.  It is not the practice of the Town of Creston to necessarily seek a final legal remedy for all alleged infractions.
     
  3. If a residence or individual is allegedly in violation of a Town of Creston bylaw/s and several neighbours deem the violation a nuisance which should be reported, each person is required to fill out individual and separate complaint forms.  This assists in substantiating the alleged offenses.
     
  4. 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 except as outlined in Section 5 below.  In addition, the response of the alleged violator shall not be made public or disclosed to the complainant except as outlined in Section 5 below.

                                                              CONFIDENTIALITY ISSUES
     
  5. The anonymity and confidentiality given to complainants and alleged violators under Council policy cannot be assured if the investigation results in court proceedings.
     
  6. If persons request the Town of Creston disclosure of personal information about them in complaints (and responses to the complaints) under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, it shall be the policy of the Town of Creston to refuse disclosure under Section 22 of the Act (Law Enforcement : Public bodies may withhold information that would harm a law enforcement matter) unless consent is obtained from the person who supplied the information who would otherwise be assured of confidentiality under this policy.  The Town of Creston however, is subject to orders issued by the Information and Privacy Commissioner under the Act and will not necessarily appeal an order for disclosure.