As mentioned in our email of January 19, 2019, this email summarizes existing bylaws and provides further information regarding STR issues which may be encountered by residents.
Below are links to the City of Langford’s (the “City”) website where you can review the Traffic, Noise Abatement and Unsightly Premises bylaws.
Expectations around parking practices on City roadways are outlined through various sections of the Traffic bylaw. Some common areas of control can include, parking on a sidewalk, blocking or within 1 meter of a driveway and ‘on street’ vehicle storage (eg: vehicles are required to move every 72 hours or less).
Noise Abatement bylaw:
Noise Evidence Log:
There is a long list of restrictions in the bylaw and we encourage you to read through it if you have any specific concerns.
The Noise Abatement bylaw does not rely on decibel measurements/readings collected by recording equipment, rather it is structured in a way which relies on a quantity of nearby persons identifying a particular sound as being problematic or disruptive to them. Of note, the General Section appearing early in this bylaw considers the community standard or tolerance will be established by neighbours to the event or sound causing the disturbance (eg: loud music, shouting, late night noises, etc.). Later parts of that same bylaw address more specific aspects.
It is important to remember that enforcement of this bylaw will rely on unified representation from neighbours to determine that a breach has occurred. To assist you in providing evidence for enforcement of this bylaw, there is a link to a PDF document referred to as a Noise Evidence Log which, when completed by a number of individuals claiming they have been disturbed, clearly demonstrates an alignment of the disruptive events.
Unsightly Premises bylaw: Accumulations of debris or garbage at a property are managed under this Bylaw: https://www.langford.ca/assets/Bylaws/Community~Standards/crd-unsightly-premises-1887.pdf
Property damage and security: These issues are not managed under a City bylaw. Complaints should be relayed to the West Shore RCMP -250-474-2264.
Erosion of neighborhood feel: There are no bylaws in place to deal with this issue. The erosion of neighborhood feel is one of the reasons why a municipality may want to control and limit STR and this will be highlighted in our communication with the City.
Reporting: Reports of suspected violations of these bylaws can be made through email at email@example.com or by calling City Hall during regular business hours at 250-474-0604. The City cannot accept and act on anonymous complaints. After hours calls can be made to 250-857-0400 however, these calls are to a mobile phone which will be answered if an Officer is on shift and able to take the call (eg: not in the midst of addressing another complaint at that moment). There is a voice messaging feature on this line which is checked regularly during an Officer’s shift, or with no one on duty, it is checked at the beginning of the next shift. If a call isn’t immediately answered, those residents calling should be sure to leave a voice message containing their name and address, the day/time/location and nature of the complaint or inquiry, and of course a number where they might be contacted. The City does not return all voice messages.
Note that noise or parking complaints can also be relayed to the West Shore RCMP (250-474-2264 then Press ‘0’) who have the same authority as bylaw officers to enforce noise or traffic issues. Such contact with the RCMP may be useful or necessary during late night hours and where bylaw officers may not be scheduled to be on shift.
During our first meeting with the City in April 2018, they indicated not having received enough complaints to conclude that STR was a problem in the City and furthermore they wanted to monitor the effects of licensing and bylaws freshly legislated in other municipalities in BC.
We will report on the results of our next meeting with the City. In the meantime, we hope that the current bylaws and the above information are useful to residents who are encountering negative issues with STR in our community.