OUR VIEW APRIL 17: Bylaw changes good for Grand Forks

The City of Grand Forks will have a bylaw enforcement officer come July and that's a good thing.

The City of Grand Forks will have a bylaw enforcement officer come the summer.

Wayne Kopan, the city’s manager of environmental and building construction services, will also be responsible for building inspection and bylaw enforcement come July.

It is all part of the city’s new Land and Development department and Kopan will be tasked with rewriting bylaws too.

It is about time.

Last week’s Gazette online poll saw 79 per cent thinking the city taking on building inspection was a good thing and the same should apply for bylaw inspection, although the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary used to handle local building inspection and there was no bylaw enforcement officer in the city.

There are a number of bylaw infractions that people have complained about in the past but there were never any real consequences.

If someone feeds deer, it is both damaging to the deer and residents of the city.

Deer become dependent on being fed instead of foraging and in turn run the risk of being hit by automobiles, which not only damages vehicles but could potentially injure the drivers too.

Also, deer aren’t human and aren’t mindful of where they defecate and there have been complaints about deer feces on school playgrounds.

What do deer feeding violators currently receive as punishment? Bascially what amounts to a summons  before council.

Air quality has been a concern for a number of residents within city limits, as witnessed by letters to the editor regarding Roxul Inc.’s Grand Forks factory, but while people aren’t allowed to let their cars idle for too long (three consecutive minutes), there was never really anyone in the city who could ensure this didn’t happen.

People could leave their cars idling for half an hour but there really won’t be anyone to hold them accountable.

Bylaw revision is also a good thing as some are in need of an overhaul.

Things have changed over time – city policy, laws and the like – and it will be good to have things up-to-date.

Bylaw enforcement and revision are things that need to be done.