THURSDAY MORNING EDITORIAL — A lot of people will be offering free hugs to City Hall administrators and councillors if they come up with a good bylaw for dealing with bad neighbours.
Staff members have been studying up on a bylaw that Nanaimo has had on the books for years and which that city has been using with good success against nuisance properties that become centres for neighbourhood grief.
They’re the houses or apartments that have the loud all-night parties, shouting drunks, screeching tires and not-so-subtle drug deals. Despite the fact Kamloops has bylaws designed to deal with drug houses, unsightly premises and noise, some streets remain plagued with such activities because it’s so hard to enforce the rules against them.
Nanaimo has gone a step further. Its nuisance bylaw is enforced via a nuisance complaints committee, which forwards recommendations to the City council, which can in turn declare a property a nuisance and subject the owner, renter or perpetrator to the costs of having police, fire or other authorities deal with them.
It seems to work well as a deterrent, so enforcement seldom has to be used but it’s there if needed.
There’s no such thing as a truly quiet neighbourhood in the city. Noise is part of living a few feet from your neighbours’ houses but when proper respect isn’t shown for peace and quiet, penalties are in order.
If that requires holding the property owner responsible — even though it might be a bad tenant causing the problem — so be it.