Red Deer Council gave final approval to an updated Community Standards Bylaw on Monday
The bylaw drew on public comments gathered at community feedback sessions including addressing the negative impacts of chronic nuisance properties, and unoccupied buildings.
One change is the city can now charge a fee to the property owner each time the city or RCMP is required to attend the designated property. While full cost recovery is not expected, this fee will essentially penalize the chronic offender and lessen the amount currently subsidized by the tax base.
Erin Stuart, the city’s inspections and licensing manager, said it’s “a powerful tool in discouraging future issues, and will have a positive impact on community safety and crime reduction.”
Coun. Vesna Higham attempted to reinstate fines for swearing in public places in the bylaw, but the majority of councillors didn’t go for it. Several council members noted administrators had recommended swearing be removed from the bylaw as its inclusion was too “prescriptive,” in telling people what they can and can’t say.
They also felt it would be essentially covered by the bylaw’s prohibition on yelling and other loud noises.
Administrators will return to council in the fall with more details as to how a noise violations, including from drag racing, can be determined — including studying whether certain decibel levels should be set in the bylaw, as is done in Calgary and some other centres.
“Council’s approval of the modernized Community Standards Bylaw means greater clarity, enhanced effectiveness and stronger, more enforceable regulations for the city and our policing partners,” said Mayor Tara Veer.
“Community safety continues to be the top priority for our citizens, and this complete update of our longstanding Community Standards Bylaw responds to substantial citizen feedback,” she added.
Updates to the Community Standards Bylaw also ensures consistency with legislation from other levels of government. The updated bylaw can found at reddeer.ca/bylaws.