By Lyonel Doherty
The Town of Oliver wants to enhance its ability to impose health and safety requirements on nuisance properties.
That’s the intent behind Safe Premises Bylaw 1388 that was discussed at Monday’s regular council meeting.
Chief Administrative Officer Cathy Cowan said this bylaw, combined with the Good Neighbour Bylaw, will give the Town the necessary tools to deal with unsafe properties, including vacant buildings.
As background, the Town adopted the Controlled Substance Nuisance Bylaw in 2007. This ordinance dealt with controlled substance properties in the community, but was limited to those that had illegal grow operations.
One of the priorities was to ensure that local government staff have the authority to enter properties for inspection purposes.
The new bylaw will have provisions for safety inspections, discontinuation of water services, owner obligations and penalties.
Cowan said the bylaw will provide powers to inspectors and will expand to include the fire chief, the director of development services and director of operations.
It will also clarify special safety inspections for hazardous conditions and unauthorized drug production.
Currently, the bylaw only speaks to controlled substance properties.
“Between this bylaw and our Good Neighbour Bylaw we should be able to deal with vacant buildings as well as any issues or any buildings we find to be a nuisance within our community,” Cowan said.
Mayor Martin Johansen said he’s happy to see this new bylaw come forward, noting it’s something the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Committee has been asking for.
He stated the more tools the Town has to deal with these problem properties and give adjacent residents some comfort, the better off the Town will be.