WHEREAS the framework provided in the Municipal Government Act for enforcement of the Land Use Bylaw results in delays in bringing lands into compliance and a financial burden to the municipality and in turn to the ratepayers; AND WHEREAS Land Use Bylaw enforcement issues cause hardships for adjacent landowners;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request the Government of Alberta to amend the Municipal Government Act to provide municipalities with enhanced abilities to address non-compliance issues and enforcement of the Land Use Bylaw in an efficient and cost effective manner.
The current method of enforcing the Land Use Bylaw is: complaint received; file researched; contact with landowner and site inspection conducted; Development Permit Application submitted or Stop Order issued; Appeal and Subdivision and Development Appeal Board decision; continuance of infraction; and Court Order to enforce conditions of Stop Order. Many of the enforcement matters undertaken end up in court for extended periods of time (upward of two years and in many cases much longer). Results are that the adjacent landowners find it unacceptable to endure the nuisance over an extended time and the expense to the municipality becomes excessive. Some of the costs may be awarded by the courts to the municipality, however, this would be a small percentage of the total cost of the enforcement. A framework for enforcement that would eliminate the number of appeal opportunities and establish timeframes for compliance would enhance the current system. The opportunity for enforcement issues to be heard at the court level is where the majority of delays and costs are incurred.