City staff say a proposed bylaw review will cost more than originally budgeted. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News)

Whitehorse weighs further funding for bylaw review

Bylaw services needs an additional $25,000 added to the initial $30,000 budget, staff say

Staff came before city council to request an additional $25,000 for a departmental review of bylaw services at the Oct. 2 standing committee meeting.

The original project was approved in the spring of 2017, with an initial budget of $30,000. However, when the project went to tender, it received no proposals, said David Pruden, manager of bylaw services.

“Feedback from one firm indicated that the scope of the project was significantly greater than what the budget allowed for,” Pruden said.

The last departmental review for bylaw services is 10 years old, he said. The project would encompass a technical review, a comparison study of bylaw services in similar jurisdictions and consultation with the Yukon government, First Nations and the public, as well as recommendations and an implementation plan.

“Failing to provide such guidance will mean that the bylaw department will struggle to meet current expectations as well as emerging issues such as trail patrols, traffic concerns and staffing,” said Pruden.

Coun. Rob Fendrick wanted to know if this review would look at the possibility of bylaw having some enforcement policies for traffic. Pruden said yes, although he noted it was a complicated issue.

“Our committee receives a significant number of complaints on moving vehicles,” Pruden said. “Many municipalities do look at … moving traffic violations but right now that is handled by the RCMP (in Whitehorse).”

Coun. Jocelyn Curteanu wanted to know if the review would also be considering marijuana enforcement.

Pruden said the city would be looking at how it handles zoning and licensing, but enforcement wouldn’t be something bylaw would be doing.

“As far as a bylaw officer enforcing a legal marijuana situation, no, that’s not in the review.”

Coun. Dan Boyd did not seem to be entirely convinced at the need for the extra funds, which would double the previous budget council approved.

“It just seems to be a bit more than we need right now,” he said.

Pruden said delaying the review would have “pros and cons,” but that ultimately it would just push the matter — and any recommended changes to bylaw — further back.

Council will consider the matter further at the Oct. 9 regular council meeting.

Contact Lori Fox at lori.fox@yukon-news.com