Most by-laws enforced by complaint


By-laws get broken everyday and, for the most part, go unnoticed. Even more irritatingly for some, these “crimes” go unpunished.

At the October 17th public meeting in Dixon’s Corners, a concerned citizen had inquired as to whether we actually have a by-law officer and whether or not anything might be done about the illegal parking in front of the Bank of Montreal in Morrisburg.

This inquiry brought up a few more examples of parking infractions in other South Dundas communities as well.

The consensus of the council appeared to be no, nothing can really be done. 

Another citizen wondered aloud as to why council bothers to make by-laws if they don’t intend to enforce them.

This left everyone a bit puzzled. If agreed that by-laws are necessary, how can council enforce them?

A by-law, by definition, is a municipal, local or corporate rule or regulation. The township’s website claims that “these by-laws often regulate lands, the use of lands, health and safety and environmental protection.”

It further states: “In most cases, the public complies with the Township’s by-laws. However, from time to time the Township must enforce its by-laws. Offenders are often given a first-time warning or order, depending on the type and seriousness of the infraction.” 

At the public meeting Deputy-Mayor Jim Locke remarked: “most bylaws are enforced by complaint.”

The complaint process is outlined on the township website complete with instructions and a handy form to fill out.

“The township has a number of regulatory by-laws it is permitted to enforce under the Municipal Act. They include: property standards; animal control; noise; illegal dumping; fire control; building and construction; signs; garage sales; pools; smoking; and, parking on public streets.”

“Should you wish to register a complaint with the Township about a perceived infraction on any of the above by-laws you must fill out a complaint form.”

In doing so, will anything be done to rectify the situation? The answer is unclear.

For those interested citizens, the Building Inspector/ By-law Enforcement Officer for South Dundas is Dan Tessier. He works out of the township office in Williamsburg.

When contacted for input into South Dundas by-law enforcement, Tessier replied, “I was advised not to comment.” 

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