Council has adopted the Bylaw Investigation and Enforcement Policy which will replace the Complaints & Bylaw Enforcement Policy adopted shortly after incorporation in January 2009. The initial bylaw needed the addition of some key components such as how to address confidentiality, staff safety, communications of the complaints process, priority of investigation, Council’s role, and the appeal process. The new policy outlines the responsibilities of the Bylaw Enforcement Officer and the process of how a complaint is handled. The amendments are based on the guide from the Ombudsperson. The Bylaw Complaints form is now available online as well as the full adopted policy. For more information, please click here.
What if I wish to complain about a bylaw infraction?
You may wish to ensure an issue is subject to District of Clearwater bylaw by checking our website or calling us to determine if we regulate the matter. Before the Bylaw Enforcement Officer can act, you must submit a complaint in writing via a Bylaw Complaint Form which requires you to provide the following:
- your name, civic/Canada Post address, and phone number;
- clearly identify the subject property of the complaint by providing either address, legal description, location map, and/or owner’s name; and
- detailed account of the bylaw infraction or substance of the complaint.
Each complaint form must be signed and dated.
How do I submit my complaint form?
Obtain a writeable Bylaw Complaint Form here; or, you may call us to have a form mailed/faxed to you. Your completed form can be submitted by email, in person, or by regular post. It is important for us to have your information on file to give validity to the complaint and to assist our Officer in effectively dealing with your concerns.
Will I remain anonymous?
If you submit a complaint your personal information is strictly confidential and is not revealed to the subject property owner. Under BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the District may be asked to release records. If releasable, we must sever personal information and content that would reveal the complainant’s identity from the records. Complainants’ names or identifying information is not released; however, should a bylaw infraction proceed to court application, the contents of our file, including your name, may be a part of the court process and you may be called to testify.
What happens after I submit my complaint?
Each complaint file is investigated. Should you wish, we can confirm that we received your complaint. Confirmed infractions are dealt with on a case by case basis, by priority, and any breach of bylaw is dealt with accordingly. The process is involved and may take time and your patience.
If we determine there is a bylaw violation, we undertake a notice and formal “Order” process which may include a reasonable window to comply. If we determine that there is a violation to the regulations of another level of government, we may forward the substance of the matter to them (but not your name).
Do I need to follow up my complaint?
Please note that investigation contents and process is confidential. Meaning: we cannot keep you “apprised” of file status or copy you our correspondence. We may however contact you in the course of an investigation for more information or respecting other matters. We may confirm to you that there is no applicable bylaw thus no violation or that a resolution is achieved.
For more information contact the Bylaw Enforcement Officer at (250) 674-2257.