The Bylaw Enforcement Notice and Dispute Adjudication system provides a simple, fair and cost-effective method for dealing with most bylaw contraventions.
It is much less costly, complex and time-consuming than a system in which tickets can be disputed only by going to court. This system replaces the provincial court with a provincially appointed adjudicator.
Denman, Gabriola, Galiano, Gambier, Hornby, Mayne, North Pender, Salt Spring, South Pender, and Thetis Island Local Trust Committees have adopted the Bylaw Enforcement Notice and Dispute Adjudication system.
Under this system, Bylaw Violation Notices (BVN) can be issued after an investigation confirms that a bylaw contravention exists.
However, before a BVN is issued, offenders are provided with time to comply with the relevant land use bylaw, or soil deposit and removal bylaw.
A BVN carries with it a financial penalty, but also a late payment surcharge if there is a late response or default.
Dispute a Bylaw Violation Notice
People who wish to dispute a BVN must do so in writing either by:
- completing the adjudication request on the BVN and returning it by mail or email or online, (the BVN includes information on how to do this), or,
- completing the online dispute adjudication form.
Dispute Adjudication Process
Review of Bylaw Violation Notice
Under the dispute adjudication system, an Islands Trust Screening Officer reviews the disputed BVN. If the dispute is found to be valid, the Screening Officer can cancel the BVN.
If the Screening Officer finds the BVN should be upheld, the Screening Officer can offer the disputant a compliance agreement, which will offer a discount on the penalty amount as set out in the adopted Bylaw Enforcement Notice bylaw, and if there is consent on the terms and conditions, and compliance with the relevant bylaw. For most contraventions, the discount available is 100 %. The primary goal of bylaw enforcement in the Trust area is not to collect penalties, but to encourage compliance with the local land-use bylaws.
Dispute Adjudication Hearing
If the disputant does not wish to proceed with a compliance agreement, they can request a dispute adjudication hearing. The disputant has the option to be heard in person, in writing, including facsimile or electronic mail, or arrange for a telephone conference call. Every effort will be made to locate a suitable meeting space including on the island where you live if there is one available. The hearing does not occur in a courthouse as the adjudication system is not part of the provincial court system, but they are open to the public and the submissions, and decisions, become a public record.
The Ministry of Attorney General maintains the adjudication roster, and adjudicators are assigned to hearings randomly from that roster: they do not work for Islands Trust. At the hearing, the adjudicator decides if a bylaw contravention occurred. If a disputant has been heard by written submissions only; the adjudicator has five business days to provide a written decision.
The determination of an adjudicator is final and conclusive, but it is subject to the Judicial Review Procedure Act and an application under this Act must be brought within 30 days after the determination is made. A $25 fee is payable by a person who is unsuccessful in a dispute adjudication, to recover the costs of the adjudication system.