Bylaws provide the structure to guide the business of the Town of Ladysmith. They lay out rules for everything from Animals to Zoning.
Every bylaw must be adopted by Council, and to be adopted, each Bylaw must be considered by Council at a minimum of two separate Council meetings. This allows time for reflection and input.
All Bylaws are available at City Hall, and frequently requested bylaws are on this website. If you don't find what you are looking for, please call City Hall at 250.245.6400, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bylaw Compliance Services
Ladysmith’s regulatory bylaws help support our small town quality of life. The implementation of these bylaws involves staff offering both education and compliance services that contribute to our goal of a safe, caring and vibrant community.
While there are certain areas of bylaw compliance that are safety-related or affect public property and require proactive enforcement, the majority of our bylaws are enforced on a complaint-only basis. This means that we need to hear from you if you have bylaw compliance concerns.
Common examples of activities that are regulated by Town bylaws include:
Property conditions (graffiti, refuse)
Nuisance properties (unsanitary conditions, noisy parties, fighting)
Parking on public property, including street parking
Signs (size, placement, permits)
Land use (zoning)
Building (construction, plumbing, safety)
Obstructions on streets or sidewalks
Illegal disposal of litter or garbage
Use of parks and other public spaces
View the most frequently accessed Town bylaws here.
Other service providers
Animal Control issues are handled by Coast Animal Control Services who can be reached at 1-888-811-7722. (Note that dog licence tags are issued by the Town and are available at City Hall, the Frank Jameson Community Centre, and Little Rascals Pet Store.)
Traffic issues, such as speeding or reckless driving, are enforced by the RCMP who can be reached at 250-245-2215 (non-emergency number).
How to make a bylaw complaint
Often complaints can be resolved amicably between neighbours. It is recommended that neighbours first attempt to resolve their issues before contacting Bylaw Compliance Services for assistance.
To make a bylaw complaint, you must do so in writing. The easiest way to do this is by completing the online Complaint Form. You can get a form at City Hall or at the Development Services office (132C Roberts Street) during normal business hours. If we need further information about a written complaint, we will contact you directly. We cannot accept anonymous complaints. All bylaw complaints are treated confidentially.
When your complaint involves a potential bylaw violation on public property or the situation could jeopardize public health or safety, please call us right away (City Hall at 250.245.6400 or Bylaw Compliance at 250.245.6415). This will enable us to take prompt action, although we will ask you to provide the same information that is included on the Complaint Form.
The Bylaw Compliance Process
Our goal is to provide an initial response to each complaint within three working days. If you haven’t heard from us after three days, you should contact the Bylaw Compliance Services staff to ensure the complaint has been properly received. Bylaw Compliance staff work part-time which may add a day or two to response times.
The first thing Town staff do in a bylaw complaint is try to achieve voluntary compliance – to get the individual concerned to comply with the bylaw without the Town needing to take enforcement measures. Sometimes an individual might not be aware of the bylaw and what is required, or they might not have interpreted it correctly. This is why we find that education is our best bylaw compliance tool. Sometimes, voluntary compliance might result in an individual making a request to Council for an exemption, change or variance to a bylaw. In situations where voluntary compliance is not achieved, the next step is that the Town’s Bylaw Officer will use an enforcement tool to gain compliance. This can includes written warnings, municipal tickets, orders, administrative sanctions, prosecutions and court injunctions. Fees and fines are provided in the Ticket Information Utilization Bylaw (you can find it on the Bylaws page of our website.)
In general terms, we try to resolve most situations within one month of receipt of the complaint. The actual time required will vary depending on the nature and circumstances of the complaint. The number of complaints received, co-operation of the property owner or person found in violation of a bylaw, the specifics of the bylaw contravention and the process required to gain compliance will all affect the length of an investigation and resolution.
Bylaw enforcement may take many courses and can be costly to the person who is not in compliance. In the case of ongoing complaint issues that are determined to be a nuisance under the Town’s bylaws, the costs for fixing the infraction may be charged against the property owner and eventually collected as taxes. Each complaint is different and the enforcement proceedings are determined based on the individual case.
Sometimes we get complaints about matters that are not regulated by the Town. They may be a civil matter between property owners or a minor non-enforceable infraction. Examples could include trees overgrowing property lines and fence disputes. In these situations, you are encouraged to work with your neighbour to resolve the situation.
Things to Think About When Making a Complaint
Information about the person making a complaint is confidential. It is the Town’s policy that it will not be released to the person whose property is the subject of a complaint. If the complaint escalates and becomes a legal matter, the Town may request or require a complainant to act as a witness Such cases are considered exceptional and do not happen often.
There are several ways to contact Bylaw Compliance staff:
Complaints are handled by Coastal Animal Services. Please contact them toll free at 1.888.811.7722