Bylaw officers in the Cowichan Valley Regional District responded to 249 complaints in 2018, with most concerned with land zoning and waste management issues.
In a year-end report to the CVRD’s electoral area services committee, bylaw enforcement officer Nino Morano said the zoning offences last year increased notably in areas such as illegal suites and residential use of recreational vehicles and/or tiny homes.
He said waste-management offences continue in areas such as smoke nuisances, including back-yard burning, dumping and land-clearing debris burns, and fireworks-related issues increased as well.
Morano said that, to date, 29 of the 249 complaints last year are still open or continue to be under investigation.
“The main objective of enforcement staff is to gain voluntary compliance,” he said.
“When this is not possible, a more formal approach is necessary which comes in the form of a formal notification, ticket or legal action. Legal action, in one matter, resulted in a court order in 2018 effectively ceasing the commercial use of a sawmill operation on a residentially zoned parcel in Shawnigan Lake.”
Morano said a new and updated ticket information authorization bylaw continues to be a useful tool in enforcement since it became operational in 2009.
Under information authorization bylaw guidelines, an enforcement officer can certify an allegation and deliver a ticket to an alleged offender without first visiting a provincial court justice to swear the information and obtain a summons.
Morano said the CVRD’s dog-control contract was awarded to Coastal Animal Control Services in 2018, and it’s the CACS who handle first contact dog-related complaints.
“If issues become irresolvable at this level, they are then turned over to a bylaw enforcement officer and subsequently to the CVRD solicitor, if need be,” he said.
“Bylaw enforcement and CACS staff undertake preventative measures with patrols in parks and trails for dog-control issues. The number of dog licences issued in 2018 was 2,470.”
Morano said enforcement staff throughout the CVRD, including the municipal and First Nations officers, meet regularly to discuss enforcement issues affecting all areas of the Cowichan Valley, such as impacts of homelessness, railroad rights-of-way, regional parks and trails and waste management.