It is the District's practice that a complainant's information is considered confidential and is not released to anyone, unless ordered by the provincial Freedom of Information Commissioner. In almost all previous circumstances, the Commissioner has sided with a municipality and has not allowed complainant information to be released. However, each case is looked at individually and decisions may vary accordingly.
The District may request or require a complainant to act as a witness, should a case be required to be settled in court. This is usually done as a last resort, when the District's case is weak or should the Bylaw Enforcement Officer be unable to determine that a violation has occurred without the evidence of the complainant.
Besides assisting the District in identifying lost dogs, licensing helps the Bylaw Enforcement Officer know that a dog has not been abandoned or is not a stray, as unclaimed dogs without a license are impounded and may be reluctantly euthanized if unadoptable. Licensing also helps track the number of pets a person owns on one property, thus reducing the potential nuisances arising from barking, running at large, and irresponsible ownership. Our licensing fee structure also encourages owners to spay or neuter their dogs to reduce over population and improve a dog's general disposition.
Licensing helps the District control costs attributed to dog control services which include setting up a dog shelter to provide support for the rescue of lost or abandoned dogs with food and shelter, and if necessary, providing for an abandoned dog veterinarian care. It also helps offset the costs for Bylaw Enforcement personnel, adoption services, and to supply and equip vehicles for the transport of dogs.
Currently the Good Neighbour Bylaw generally prohibits noise "which disturbs or tends to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of any person or persons in the neighbourhood or vicinity of that place".
Noise complaints are subject to discretion and we ask that you keep a written record of the dates, times, duration, and type of noise that is occurring. When you have accumulated approximately TEN dates (or more), thereby indicating a continuous nuisance, you should provide the Bylaw Enforcement Officer with a copy of these hand written notes and fill out a Bylaw Complaint Form. Upon receipt of your complaint, the Bylaw Enforcement Officer will contact the person(s) to advise that a complaint has been registered and they are required to take whatever action is necessary to eliminate the nuisance.
Enforcement of Bylaws
The District of Hope promotes bylaw compliance through civic responsibility and good neighbour practices. The District responds to complaints relating to violations of District bylaws including property maintenance standards, nuisance, dog control, noise, parking, traffic, business licence, zoning, illegal dumping, building violations, litter, graffiti, and controlled substance. In most cases, the District encourages voluntary compliance which may be between one to twenty-one days depending on the health and public safety issues or public interest. Not all complaints require action or intervention by the District.
The Bylaw Enforcement Officer is available to receive inquiries and/or complaints weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Complaints may be filed by fax, in person, in writing, by telephone or by email. Please ensure that you include your name, address and telephone number. Complaints without this information will not be investigated. Your information will be kept confidential.
Bylaw Dispute Adjudication
This enforcement process for complaints are unique in that, if the matter is not resolved through the intervention of the Bylaw Enforcement Officer, it may be necessary for the complainant to become involved in the process if the matter proceeds through a Bylaw Dispute Adjudication process. As a complainant, you may be required to attend the Adjudication as the witness to the violation.
The District participates in a joint Bylaw Dispute Adjudication Process with the City of Chilliwack, Fraser Valley Regional District, Harrison Hot Springs, and the District of Kent. This process is initiated by issuing a Bylaw Notice (ticket) for an violation of our bylaws. If you receive a ticket you have 14 days to pay the penalty or dispute the allegation by notifying the District that you wish to dispute the allegation. If you decide to dispute a ticket, it is reviewed by an officer who will attempt to resolve the issue. If no resolution is found, your dispute will be forwarded to an adjudication hearing where an adjudicator will hear from both the disputant and the District and decide whether the contravention has occurred as alleged.
Ticket Dispute and Payment
You must complete the back of the ticket in full within 14 days of the date the ticket was issued and submit it to the District of Hope or City of Chilliwack . The dispute will be reviewed by a Screening Officer who will contact you to discuss the dispute and attempt a resolve. If the dispute is not resolved, the only option is to request an adjudication hearing.
You will be notified of the dates and times when your matter will go before adjudication. It is imperative that you attend the adjudication hearing.
At the adjudication hearing, an adjudicator will hear from both the disputant and the municipality and will decide whether he is satisfied that the contravention occurred as alleged. When considering a matter, the adjudicator can review documents submitted by either party, or hear from the parties or witnesses. All adjudications are open to the public. The function of the adjudicator is strictly to confirm or cancel the Bylaw Notice. The adjudicator has no discretion to reduce or waive the fine amount. The adjudicator also has no jurisdiction to deal with challenges to the bylaw. Claims of infringements of rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms can only be initiated as a separate matter in the Supreme Court of BC. The adjudicator must proceed on the basis that the bylaw is legally valid.
If the ticket is confirmed, the fine amount noted on the face of the ticket is payable to the District. In addition, a fee to cover a portion of the cost of the dispute may be imposed. This fee does not exceed $25.00. The decision of the adjudicator is final and there is no appeal.
The appointment, training and management of the adjudicator roster occurs at arms length from the municipality. Adjudicators are appointed by the province.
Ticket payments can be received In person or by mail, at any of the following locations:
|District of Hope||325 Wallace Street, P.O. Box 609, Hope, BC, V0X 1L0|
|City of Chilliwack||8550 Young Road, Chilliwack, BC, V2P 8A4M|