Qualicum Beach staff says seasonal bylaw officer needed

Increase in homeless camps a factor: staff

Town of Qualicum Beach staff says a seasonal bylaw officer is needed.

In a report detailing bylaw enforcement and increased fire risks from bylaw compliance officer Don Marshall, he said in the past two years the town “has seen a steady increase in its transient homeless population.”

Marshall’s report states that responding to the homeless camps puts a strain on resources and hindering the ability to respond to other bylaw complaints in a timely manner.

He said there are “stresses placed on services to manage the associated risks” such as very serious danger posed by fire hazard, discarded needles, refuse-related injury and/or illness.

RELATED: Town of Qualicum Beach calls on province to take action on discarded needles

Planning director Luke Sales said the report was to notify council on the current situation on homeless camps within the town. The report was only for information and not for council to vote on.

“The transient homeless and the camps that are left behind when they vacate is essentially a hazard to both the bylaw officer and to the public,” Sales told town council at the regular council meeting on Aug. 20.

Sales also said that in order to effectively address bylaw issues, staff will be asking for a seasonal bylaw officer.

“Because it is a considerable strain on bylaw enforcement, we will be recommending next year that a seasonal bylaw officer be added to our staffing to address this issue but also other seasonal issues such as dogs on the beach and other things that come up in the summer,” Sales said.

Staff will also be implementing a two-hour parking restriction in the uptown commercial area in 2019 which will also require looking at extra enforcement through the bylaw department, said town CAO Daniel Sailland.

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