Education is key for township in bylaw adherence
By Darren Lum
Published Aug. 23, 2016
It’s the weekend and a party continues past 11 p.m., leaving you struggling to sleep.
What will you do to make sure it doesn’t happen again? Who do you call?
Dysart chief administrative officer, Tamara Wilbee said for any infraction it’s important for people to know to send complaints in writing, particularly on the weekends.
“If you feel strongly enough about it write a letter to the bylaw officer,” she said. “They have to realize there is no one here to call on the weekends or at night when fireworks are going off so it will be a matter of record keeping and being willing to put your own name on the line to support a ticket,” she said.
During weekends and after hours, people can also submit complaints to the bylaw department by email and must include contact information, what the complaint is about and return contact information if a response is required. As stated on the township website, all personal information is collected in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
If someone doesn’t want to formalize a complaint, Wilbee said just getting the bylaw officer out at a later date can move towards understanding.
The township, she said, believes in educating people about the bylaws so notifying the township’s bylaw enforcement officer about any situation could be all that is needed to make people aware of bylaws.
“The biggest thing is once people know, particularly on lakes with lake associations, they tend to police themselves pretty well. It’s the smaller ones probably where there’s not that communication link to get it [out to people],” she said.
See the township’s home page (dysartetal.ca) and under services choose “Bylaw Enforcement and Licensing” for details. There is a $300 fine for violators of the noise bylaw, which includes all noises, whether related to construction or fireworks, between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
As for neighbours who have issues with renters causing a disturbance outside of the hours, proceeding with caution is recommended for those who feel vulnerable.
“They probably shouldn’t do anything that night with the renters because ... you don’t know them. You don’t know who you’re dealing with,” she said.
Wilbee adds if there is a threat to safety the police should be contacted or in the case with the recent total fire ban, the local fire department.
She adds after the incident the complainant should contact the owner of the residence with the concern, particularly if they know them.
The township’s chief building official Dan Sayers confirmed Wilbee’s suggestions.
Anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable confronting someone for an infraction that is unsafe should contact authorities.
“In a case like that they can phone the OPP,” he said.