New Bylaw Violation Dispute Process Approved
Prince George, B.C. – Prince George is more than 70 communities in the province that is looking to adopt a “Bylaw Notice Enforcement bylaw”.Council has unanimously approved three readings of the bylaw that will change the way some tickets can be challenged.
Manager of Bylaw Services ,Fred Crittenden says adoption of this system will create a more efficient means of dealing with violation tickets, it will also allow for people who are ticketed under this system better process and dispute resolution says Crittenden as it would take the ticketing out of the courts and puts it into the adjudication system.
Not all bylaw violations will be covered by this system, to start, the bylaws that will be covered will be:
- Animal Control
- Noise Control, Parks and Open Spaces
- Water Bylaw,
- Garbage Collection,
- Property Maintenance
- Parking and Traffic as well as Off Street Parking
- Snow and Ice Control Route restriction
- Highways Bylaw
Those who have been cited for a violation under any of the preceding bylaws could face additional dollars added to their fines if they miss the payment deadline. In some cases, the violator could see the fine reduced if they enter into a compliance agreement. The new bylaw also sets the stage for the matter to be resolved through an adjudication process rather than heading to court.
“It cuts down on costs for the person ticketed. they are not required to attend in person as they would be in court. They can submit a written statement to the adjudicator” says Crittenden. it will also save dollars for the City as submissions will be made through documentation including sworn statements.
Adjudicators have been identified by the Province, and the fee is $400 per day, the City will cover the adjudication fees.
Crittenden says this program has been well received in other communities. In some communities, such as the Okanagan, they have a weekly adjudication date to handle all cases from the area.
Several of the bylaws that would be covered by this system will have to be tweaked to allow for this stream of dispute resolution.
The changes to the bylaws will be done by the end of this year, so the new system can be up and running as of January 1st, 2017