Party's over as Kelowna adopts Good Neighbour bylaw | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Party's over as Kelowna adopts Good Neighbour bylaw

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October 31, 2017 - 1:21 PM

KELOWNA - The Good Neighbour bylaw adopted by Kelowna city council is aimed squarely at those who are anything but.

The super-bylaw combines four so-called nuisance bylaws —  anti-litter, noise and disturbances, residential nuisance and unsightly premises and visual nuisance — but adds new powers to fine repeat offenders and attach them to the owner’s property taxes.

A nuisance abatement fee of $250 will be added if three or more calls per year are made to the same address. Those are in addition to individual fines that can be levied immediately by bylaw officers which start at $100.

Council were very receptive to the new bylaw, with one of the biggest worries centred on those who try to use the bylaw complaints system as a weapon against their neighbours.

But bylaw services manager David Gazely told council the means to control this already exists in the criminal code, where abusers can face mischief charges for making baseless calls.

Mayor Colin Basran asked if the new bylaw would help counter the perception the city does not adequately police these kinds of offences.

Risk manager Lance Kayfish told council the new fines will hard for landlords to avoid and should force them to better manage the actions of their own tenants.

Kayfish added the new rules in no way stop tenants or occupants of a home or business from making legitimate calls to emergency services.

“We don’t want anyone to think twice about making these call," he says.

Some highlights include a reduction to 9 p.m. for the hours construction noise is allowed and “explosive noise” from boats and motorcycles will also be targetted.

Owners of distribution and utility boxes will also face fines if they don’t remove graffiti in a timely manner, while the odours and vermin associated with backyard composting are also under the gun with plans to increase enforcement around storage.

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