Wind chime noise among quirkiest bylaw complaints

Complaints: Officers lauded

Windchimes, an ice machine maker, a hot tub, and garbage trucks.

Those were some of the things that reportedly got on some Campbell Riverites’ nerves in 2015.

The noise makers prompted public nuisance complaints to City Hall as revealed in a bylaw enforcement statistics report recently released by the city.

Of the 555 bylaw complaints the city received in 2015, public nuisance was the most common beef, with 216 incidents reported.

Of those 216, 79 were related to unsightly premises (vegetation, 50, and materials, 29) while 32 people complained about graffiti and 30 had a noise complaint.

Powertools topped the list of noise complaints at eight, while garbage collection and vehicles each generated seven complaints. Amplified music prompted four calls to the city while windchimes, a heat pump, an ice machine maker, and a hot tub each generated one complaint.

Coun. Charlie Cornfield, upon seeing the statistics at council’s Monday night meeting, noted that bylaw infractions appear to be on the rise, with 291 complaints in 2012, 372 in 2013, 414 in 2014 and 555 last year.

“If somebody were to look at the first chart they would say ‘wow, we’re having worse things happening.’”

Mayor Andy Adams said that’s likely because the city now has two bylaw officers, which means the city has more resources at its disposal to deal with complaints.

City Clerk Peter Wipper agreed with Adams’ assessment.

“I think it’s their outstanding job that’s making it happen,” Wipper said. “You’re getting a great response from these officers and word gets out that if you call City Hall you get action. People tell their friends and they think ‘I have a problem in my neighbourhood, I should call.’ I believe that’s probably how the word is getting out.”

“So in other words, this is probably just a result of having resources to deal with the issues,” Cornfield clarified. “Because they’re doing a great job and I don’t wish to imply otherwise.”

The city’s two bylaw officers were certainly busy last year.

Of the 555 files opened, they were able to gain compliance in 129 cases through a written requirement and in 78 cases with a verbal requirement.

A further 42 incidences were rectified through advice/education while just eight cases required a parking ticket to be issued and five required a municipal bylaw infraction ticket.

In addition to the city’s bylaw officers cracking down, the city’s contracted parking enforcement team, Robbins Parking Service Ltd., issued 1,251 tickets. June saw the highest number of tickets issued, at 159, followed by July with 136 and October, which saw 124 tickets issued.

December had the fewest amount of tickets given out, at 71.

Coastal Animal Control, the city contractor for animal control, reported a total of 111 dogs impounded in 2015, with 90 of those dogs claimed and 14 adopted.

Zero dogs were euthanized, 206 written warnings were issued to dog owners, three violation tickets were issued and three dogs were deemed dangerous or vicious.

The following are the top complaints for each bylaw and the top complaint in the first three categories.

 

  • Public nuisance (216) – Unsightly premises (79)
  • Traffic and highway (173) – Over 48 hours parked (82)
  • Zoning (53) – Permitted use (26)
  • Signs (35)
  • Business licence (21)
  • Parks (16)
  • Environmental (11)