Bylaw Enforcement

Bylaw enforcement officers and other authorized persons investigate complaints received by the public regarding non-compliance and alleged bylaw violations. Complaints are responded to on a priority basis. 

For questions about Comox Valley Regional District bylaws not answered on this website or concerns regarding anonymity or hesitancy to make a formal complaint, contact the CVRD Manager of Bylaw Compliance at 250-334-6000 or Contact Us.

How to Submit a Bylaw Complaint

A bylaw complaint is a formal written request to have an alleged bylaw infraction investigated by a bylaw enforcement officer. To ensure bylaw complaints and comments are responded to as quickly and comprehensively as possible, the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) has created a complaint package for complainants to fill out and return.

Bylaw Complaint Form 

If you submit a bylaw complaint, know that:

  • Anonymity of the complainant will be maintained between the complainant and the alleged offender except where disclosure is required or necessary in a court of law. 
  •  Completed bylaw complaint forms are treated as formal legal documents, even if sent electronically. See BC’s Electronic Transactions Act for more details. 

New Bylaw Dispute Adjudication System 

The Comox Valley Regional District has launched a new process to help manage bylaw disputes locally rather than through the Provincial Court system. The new process follows three simple steps:

Step 1: Pay or Dispute a Bylaw Offence Notice

After receiving a Bylaw Offence Notice, you have the option to either pay the Notice or dispute it. You have 14 calendar days upon receipt of the Bylaw Offence Notice to dispute it. If a dispute is not filed with the Comox Valley Regional District within 14 calendar days, you will not be able to dispute it later.

To dispute a Bylaw Offence Notice, fill out the information on the rear of the Notice and deliver it in person, by email or fax within 14 calendar days to:

Comox Valley Regional District – Bylaw Services
770 Harmston Avenue, Courtenay, BC
V9N 0G8

Fax: 250-334-4358
Email

Step 2: Bylaw Offence Notice Dispute Process
 

If disputed, the Notice will then be assigned to a Screening Officer who will contact you to review the details of your dispute. The Screening Officer will either confirm or cancel the Notice based on the Bylaw Offence Notice screening policy. If the Screening Officer determines that the Notice will be upheld, the disputant will be offered the choice of:

  • Paying the full amount of the fine (not eligible for discounted amount).
  • Entering into a compliance agreement, which establishes terms and conditions for compliance, including time periods for payment of penalties and plans to cease or remedy the bylaw contraventions that gave rise to the Bylaw Offence Notice. As a term of the compliance agreement, the Screening Officer may authorize a reduction of the prescribed penalty by 50%.
  • Requesting a bylaw dispute adjudication hearing.

Step 3: Adjudication Hearing

If you request an adjudication hearing, you will be contacted by a dispute coordinator to set the date, time and location of the hearing. You can chose your preferred method of participation: in person, by phone/video, or in writing.

Prior to the hearing, an evidence package will be sent to you which will include the evidence being presented at the hearing.

At the hearing, an independent adjudicator will determine if the bylaw offence occurred or not. If the adjudicator determines the offence occurred, the Notice will be cancelled and you will be required to pay the full fine amount, plus a $25 adjudication fee.

Bylaw offence notice payment options

By mail (cheque or money order)In Person 
Comox Valley Regional District – Bylaw Services
770 Harmston Avenue, Courtenay, BC
V9N 0G8

Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:

  • Cash,
  • money order,
  • cheque, or;
  • debit card.

Comox Valley Regional District – Bylaw Services
770 Harmston Avenue, Courtenay, BC
V9N 0G8

 

Important Notes

  • Bylaw dispute adjudications are open to the public.
  • If a disputant fails to appear or present their case, the adjudicator must order the penalty set out in the Notice is immediately due and payable to the Comox Valley Regional District.
  • The decision of the adjudicator is final.
  • The adjudicator cannot reduce the fine amount.
  • A dispute can only be cancelled by paying the indicated fine amount.
  • A paid Bylaw Offence Notice cannot be taken to adjudication.

FAQs & Related Documents

What is bylaw dispute adjudication?

The Bylaw Dispute Adjudication system allows the Comox Valley Regional District to manage bylaw disputes locally rather than through the Provincial Court system. Bylaw Offence Notices can be disputed out of court with an adjudicator appointed by the Provincial Attorney General’s Office.

Why is adjudication used?
  • Simplifies the dispute process
  •  More convenient for disputants, because attendance at an adjudication hearing is not mandatory
  • Removes bylaw violations from the Provincial court system 
  • Reduces ticket dispute time 
  • Reduces need to employ lawyers or enforcement officers to take a case to court
  • More cost effective and efficient system; and
  • Helps ensure bylaw compliance