Do you have good neighbours? If not, the District of Mission has a new bylaw in place to ensure certain standards are maintained.
Council gave final approval to its Good Neighbour Bylaw on Monday night, ending more than a year of work on the project.
The bylaw – which received feedback from the Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Mission Downtown Business Association, as well as a thorough review by district lawyers – combines several other bylaws into one, comprehensive document.
It addresses everything from noise regulations to littering, property maintenance to graffiti.
“We have a great deal of trouble controlling or mitigating disputes between neighbours, particularly when its one neighbour that is causing a huge problems,” explained Mission Mayor Randy Hawes.
He said the new combined bylaw helps to “fill in the gaps” left out by the old bylaws.
One example he cited was a case of light pollution involving a person who has bright spotlights shining into their neighbour’s window.
“In some cases, these things are done vehemently. They are a way of dealing with disputes that are not very neighbourly,” said Hawes.
The new bylaw now gives the district the ability to deal with those kinds of problems.
“When it comes to light pollution, we have not had any tools to deal with that. Now we do.”
Hawes said the aim of the new bylaw is to make Mission a more livable community, through enforcement.
“There are always people who are not good neighbours,” he said.
One area that the new bylaw does not cover is vacant buildings.
Council had originally hoped to include measures to stop owners from leaving their properties empty for long periods of time.
However, after the legal review, those provisions were removed from the bylaw because the Community Charter does not give local government’s the authority to regulate those aspects of buildings.
The charter does give council the ability to impose remedial requirements on an owner of a building that is deemed hazardous or a nuisance.