Bylaw bandits off the hook following West Van clerical error

Clerical error in your favour!

People who received 15 bylaw infraction tickets for everything from blasting without a permit to failing to stop work on a building site in West Vancouver will get away with not paying, after staff discovered a clerical error making it impossible for the municipality to collect the fines.

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The mistake happened when council adopted a new water conservation bylaw in April 2018 to match up with new regulations from Metro Vancouver, and repealed a previous water shortage response bylaw.

In doing so, council also accidentally took away the municipality’s ability to assess fines connected to four other bylaws including the blasting bylaw, building bylaw, sign bylaw and soil removal and deposit bylaw.

Four months later, staff discovered the error, along with the fact that 15 tickets totalling $7,100 had been handed out on which the municipality had no ability to legally collect.

Most of the tickets were $500 fines and were for activities ranging from “rock breaking where prohibited” to “tampering with posted notice” and “fail to stop work” under the building bylaw.

Those who received the 15 tickets before the problem was corrected will not have to pay, said Donna Powers, municipal spokeswoman.

In an average year, the District of West Vancouver hands out more than 10,500 tickets for bylaw infractions and collects more than $650,000 in revenue from bylaw violation tickets.

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