May 08, 2014 - 2:55 PM
KAMLOOPS - Some say it's different living in North Shore, worrying about gunfire, stolen vehicles and arson.
These are the things North Shore residents Joanne Forde and Angela Rigby say they deal with daily and they hope the city will soon put a bylaw in place to help bylaw and police officers deal with the nuisance properties that have turned their lives upside down.
“If you haven’t been in this situation you can’t possibly understand. This is no exaggeration. This is real, and it needs to stop,” Forde said in campaigning for the bylaw this week. “You probably all live safely in your homes, and that’s great, but what about the rest of us? We need this bylaw and we need it now. We want to live in peace as well.”
The bylaw they refer to, currently implemented in Nanaimo and several other B.C. cities, would help officers deal with properties where the nuisances do not meet health and safety or criminal code thresholds. It would offer a way for officers to better enforce things like continual noise and parking infractions.
The Community Enforcement Task Force and Police Committees heard about the potential bylaw last week. It was explained staff are seriously looking into the possibility and what resources would be needed for a nuisance bylaw like this one to be properly monitored and enforced.
Rigby agrees with her neighbour in saying the bylaw is an important step for the city.
“This bylaw is really important to communities, to help the city recover costs,” she says. “We need to get it enacted as soon as possible so we can take back our neighbourhoods.”
Most of the community safety team was on hand for the presentation at city hall Tuesday and Community Safety Director David Duckworth says the bylaw would be an extra tool to help them deal with these types of situation when they become untenable.
“Nuisance is not a drug house, it’s noise, parking….” Duckworth clarifies. “If (the committee) believes it’s untenable, they bring it to council to be be deemed a nuisance. Most of these are resolved much quicker though.”
Duckworth expects the bylaw proposal to be put forward to council by early fall so it can be part of 2015 budget discussions if needed. Any potential bylaw would involved staff working with the property owner to resolve issues before a property could be deemed a nuisance. Once labelled a nuisance by council the owner would be billed for all related calls to the property including police, bylaws and fire services.
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