Islands Trust bylaw enforcement reduce fines to zero for those who comply

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, August 28 2018

Those who comply with a Bylaw Enforcement Action will now see their potential fines reduced to zero, thanks to changes made by Gabriola Local Trust Committee and Bylaw Enforcement Staff.

The amendments will impact the Gabriola, Mudge and DeCourcy Island Land Use Bylaws (LUBs) and are such that penalties for voluntary compliance can be adjusted to zero. Previous to the change, voluntary compliance reduced fines by 50 per cent.

Warren Dingman, Bylaw Enforcement Officer, said the idea is that it should ultimately produce less work for staff when people come into compliance.

“That’s the real change.”

The other change he said is that the Trust is no longer using “North Shore for adjudication - we can do it ourselves. “If people want to get a hearing set up to dispute a fine on Gabriola, we may be able to schedule that meeting on Gabriola instead of going to North Vancouver.”

 Trustees all voted in favour. The staff report stated, “Experience with these fine structures has shown that, even after compliance is achieved, sometimes fines are left unpaid. Thus, staff must pursue persons in court or by debt collection procedures for non-payment of a fine despite the fact that the original bylaw violation is resolved. This situation is counterproductive as it consumes scarce resources and damages good will. Additionally, in many cases the cost to comply with bylaws is sometimes substantial and reducing the fine to zero is a powerful incentive.”

As this is an administrative bylaw, no approval from the Province is necessary. 

It will be sent directly to the Islands Trust Executive Committee for approval and then returned to the Gabriola Island LTC for final adoption.