West Kelowna  

West Kelowna plans to increase penalties for repeat nuisance emergency and bylaw calls

Penalties for nuisance calls

The City of West Kelowna is planning on hitting the owners of problem properties in the wallets.

City council will consider a proposal this week to increase the penalties for nuisance calls requiring the RCMP, fire department and other city staff from between $75-$100 per call to $500.

“Excessive nuisance abatement fees” are levied on owners of properties that emergency responders or city officials have to attend on a frequent basis.

“These fees assist in putting the onus on the property owner to comply with the city’s bylaws, and maintain their property to a level acceptable by community standards,” a staff report to council says. “Additionally, these abatement fees are intended to motivate property owners to take an active role in the day to day conditions or activities on the property they are legally responsible for.”

The penalties can be issued for more than one nuisance call in 24 hours or more than three in a year. A written warning must come first.

West Kelowna has not changed its penalties since 2009. For comparison, Kelowna charges $250 per nuisance call while Penticton charges $200. Surrey charges $867.50.

“The cost of continued nuisance activity requiring the attendance of city staff or the RCMP should not be borne by the law-abiding neighbours, but rather those who are legally responsible,” the city staff report says.

Council will discuss the proposal on Tuesday.

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