Bylaw complaints on the rise in Comox Valley Regional District

Bylaw enforcement complaints to the regional district are up “significantly” from last year.

But several large case files have been able to be closed so far this year.

And the district’s program to combat illegal garbage dumping is having some success.

The program, launched in April, resulted in an increased number of illegal dumping reports, increased public assistance, and improved partnerships with other investigative agencies and community clean-ups.

The regional district’s bylaw staff keeps a database of complaints and coordinates with the Strathcona Regional District and municipalities as required.

The two lengthy files that were finally closed this year concerned two properties on Lake Trail Road in Area C.

One property involved zoning violations (living in an RV) and unsightly premises, including numerous derelict vehicles.

The district was all set to apply for Supreme Court injunction relief, but the owner decided to comply and met the conditions set before legal action was required.

The second property also involved unsightly conditions, including numerous derelict vehicles, as well as animal control problems (horses on the loose).

The property owner has been subject to numerous bylaw and SPCA investigations since 2013, including unpaid municipal tickets.

A consent order was served on the owner and some conditions were met. The property, however, is now subject to a court-ordered sale and the bylaw investigation is on hold awaiting the property sale.

A third problem regarding noise and zoning on Kentwood Road in Area A associated with a car repair business has since been resolved as the property owner moved the business to another site.

Since Jan. 1 of this year, 81 new files were opened by bylaw enforcement staff, compared to only 47 during the same period last year.

Complaints about medical marijuana grow operations continue.

“There’s not much we can do … It is providing challenges,” said Electoral Area A director Bruce Jolliffe.

“I guess we have to see what comes down the line from Justin and the crew. Right now there’s a certain element that’s getting filthy rich, and they don’t pay taxes,” added Electoral Area C director Edwin Grieve.

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