The Strathcona Regional District is strengthening its bylaw for various infractions in electoral areas.
At the same time, it is also revising its building regulations bylaw to bring it in line with new provincial insurance provisions for building inspections.
That SRD staff is working on both in tandem required some clarification. Area C Director Jim Abram wanted to know whether this would mean his electoral area, specifically Quadra Island, would now have building inspection, something that had been rejected by the community overwhelmingly.
“Area C does not want building inspection,” he said.
Abram suggested adding a phrase to the bylaw “in areas that currently have building inspection” to specify which areas are to be covered.
Director Charlie Cornfield, one of the Campbell River representatives, asked how Quadra deals with building infrations if no one is inspecting sites, to which Abrams replied that BC Building Code is already mandatory.
“Every home owner, builder, contractor has to build to those standards, and if they don’t and something happens afterwards, the owner…(and) builder are responsible for that,” he said.
In turn, Cornfield responded that while the original owners are supposed to follow code, properties can change hands several times, to which Abrams said his understanding is that responsibility stays with those building a property.
SRD Corporate Services Manager Tom Yates also informed the board that the SRD’s revision of its building regulations bylaw is really more of a housekeeping issue in response to changes proposed through the Municipal Insurance Association that include provisions not in the current SRD bylaw. These would only cover electoral areas that currently have building inspection.
Staff confirmed the ticketing bylaw, which sets out penalties for a range of infractions, applies to all four electoral areas, covers penalties for contraventions of regulations for the use of parks, planning violations and other issues, along with building infractions.
“It does affect a number of electoral areas that have regulatory provisions in place,” Yates said.
The bylaw will use monetary penalties as a way to strenghten enforcement of infractions.
“It provides an opportunity and a vehicle for enforcement that is perhaps more efficient than going to court,” Yates told the board.
“It allows for admission of guilt through payment of fines.”
The bylaws are to be reviewed by staff and will go back to the electoral area services committee and the SRD board for input.