City council does some bylaw housekeeping

Council, at its Monday night meeting, gave final approval or third reading to roughly a handful of city bylaw changes.

Here’s a rundown:

 

Graffiti fines

Council adopted a bylaw amendment that will require waste companies to remove graffiti from their garbage bins within 12 working days or be subject to a fine of $250.

Council has been debating the new rule over a span of two months.

At the Feb. 9 council meeting, council by a 4-3 vote narrowly defeated extending the deadline to 15 business days. Coun.

Ron Kerr had noted that council only gives businesses seven days to remove any graffiti that appears on their buildings.

Kerr said he conducted his own survey of garbage bins and found that of the 162 he counted around the city, 44 (28 per cent) had been tagged and it didn’t seem to matter whether they were visible from the street or if they were in a back alley.

 

Extra towing

Council also adopted an amendment to its Traffic and Highways Regulation bylaw that gives the city the authority to tow utility, boat and travel trailers that are illegally parked, impeding snow removal or have five unpaid parking tickets.

The city already has the authority to tow or remove most other motor vehicles from highways or other public places.

Last year, of the 178 complaints the city received related to parking, 37 involved utility, boat or travel trailers.

 

Dog fees

Thanks to the efforts of a Campbell River woman who recently acquired a diabetic alert service dog, changes are coming to dog licensing fees.

Council this week gave third reading to a bylaw amendment that will exempt owners of service dogs from having to pay to license their dog.

The amendment will also apply to RCMP dogs, Search and Rescue dogs, as well as all guide and service dogs.

The changes will also give those dogs access to areas of parks, Discovery Pier, tot lots and playgrounds where dogs are typically banned.

The exemption also allows those dogs to be unleashed to properly fulfill their role “provided that the dog is under effective control of a competent person and is performing its function as a Guide and Service dog, RCMP dog or Search and Rescue dog,” according to Karl Read, city bylaw officer.

 

Fire ticketing

Council also gave third reading to a bylaw amendment that will allow fire captains to write up tickets.

Currently, only the city’s fire chief, deputy fire chief and fire inspector can write up tickets for bylaw infractions.

Mayor Andy Adams said that giving that authority to fire captains will make it easier on the fire department.

“It enables the captains, who are with their crew and generally first on the scene in these types of instances, to act on them at the time that the incident is actually happening rather than bringing it back to the department and then having to submit a report and then having that report acted on,” he said.

The fire department has the legal means to write up tickets for things like open burning infractions, as well as offences related to the city’s fireworks bylaw.