City proposes updates to sound and graffiti bylaws

The City of Whitehorse is considering changes to its maintenance bylaws that would stregthen enforcement of rules surrounding noise, graffiti and snow-covered accessible parking spaces.

The City of Whitehorse is considering changes to its maintenance bylaws that would stregthen enforcement of rules surrounding noise, graffiti and snow-covered accessible parking spaces.

Councillors debated the proposal during the April 4 standing committee meeting.

The city already has a sound ordinance in effect, prohibiting noise that would “disturb the quiet, rest, enjoyment or comfort of any person of reasonable sensitivity.” Mayor Dan Curtis said residents have recently complained about traffic-related noise.

The changes primarily involve the ways noise issues can be reported and resolved, said Dave Pruden, the city’s manager of bylaw services. Under the current rules, reporting a sound disturbance was complaint-based, which means that if a bylaw officer noted a disturbance — say, a vehicle with an exceptionally loud muffler — they would be unable to issue a warning or ticket unless someone called to complain.

Under the proposed changes, a bylaw officer would now be able to issue that warning based on their own discretion.

“Most times we would just give a warning,” Pruden said.

The proposed changes also make it mandatory for property owners to remove snow and ice from accessible parking spaces before 11 a.m. on the day following a snowfall or upon the request of a bylaw officer. This is to address concerns for people with mobility issues, Pruden said.

“We were finding that sometimes people wouldn’t clear these spaces right away … and we want to make sure those spots are given more attention so that people with mobility challenges can access them,” Pruden said.

The proposed bylaw changes also make it mandatory for people to remove graffiti from their properties within 30 days of “becoming aware” of the graffiti. This issue revolves around concerns mainly centered in the downtown core area about persistent graffiti.

“The downtown area is obviously more visible because of the traffic that moves through it,” Pruden said. “We want to keep that area clean and tidy…. So it doesn’t look run down and people feel safe to stay and shop in that area.”

Councillors are concerned about how the graffiti rules would be enforced. Curtis asked how bylaw officers would prove an owner has “become aware” of graffiti and how the 30-day requirement would be enforced.

“Some people who are property owners might travel and it can be difficult to contact,” Curtis said.

Pruden said the 30-day period would begin when a bylaw officer issues a warning. But Pruden said there can be “extenuating circumstances,” which might extend the time frame, such as the need for special paints or a family emergency.

“Bylaw is interested in working with businesses to remove graffiti … we try to be as fair as possible,” Pruden said,

Council is scheduled to vote on the proposed bylaw changes at its regular meeting April 24.

Contact the Yukon News at editor@yukon-news.com.

Just Posted

Driver files lawsuit over fire truck crash

Lisa Gallant-McRobb filed a statement of claim related to the Jan. 22 crash late last month

Without hemodialysis option, Yukon man returns home to die

Terry Coventry said he hopes the Yukon government will consider offering hemodialysis in the future

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Porter Creek Rams ride strong first quarter to boys Super Hoops win against F.H. Collins Warriors

After two days of competition, the F.H. Collins Warriors are 0-2 in boys play and 2-0 in girls play

Yukon officials issue warning after three fentanyl deaths last month

There were also a handful of overdoses that did not result in deaths

Commentary: Yukon firearm owners need a voice in Ottawa

Are Yukoners being effectively represented in Ottawa?

Toonie Tournament raises food and funds for Whitehorse Food Bank

“It was more about getting the kids out playing soccer and fundraising for the food bank”

Dahria Beatty wins bronze at Opa Cup cross-country skiing race in Slovenia

Whitehorse’s Emily Nishikawa was 10th in the 10-km race

RCMP asks B.C. cannabis shop to remove image of Sam Steele

Owner happy to comply with RCMP, but wants more information first

Team Yukon narrowly misses out on podium at Canadian Curling Club Championships

In both men’s and women’s competition, Team Yukon finished fourth

EDITORIAL: Time for the Yukon Party’s opening act

Having a competitive leadership race could be good for the party

City news, briefly

Some of the news from the Dec. 2 Whitehorse city council meeting

Arctic Sports Inter-School Championship draws athletes from as far as Juneau

The three-day event included more than 300 participants from kindergarten to Grade 12

Most Read