Bylaw Enforcement

Cowichan Valley Trail - Bylaw Sign

CVRD Bylaw Enforcement Strategy

CVRD’s goal is to achieve voluntary compliance with all CVRD Bylaws. We aim to change the “Perception of the public”, with regards to CVRD Bylaws, by Pioneering new ideas and approaches and by the use of the modern technology to provide a decisive and proactive service.

 A consistent, common sense approach will be applied in order to Bylaw enforcement. CVRD will treat everybody with dignity, fairness and respect.

All cases will be looked at on their own merits, and dealt with, with a level of reasonableness. Any response will be appropriate to the scale of the offence.

How to make a bylaw infraction complaint

To make a complaint relating to CVRD Bylaws, it is required that a name, address, and phone number be provided as well as a description of the location (address) and alleged offence. This information is kept confidential, but is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Bylaw complaints may be made:
• In person
• In writing / email
• By phone 250.746.2620

Enforcement action is initiated on a complaint basis

The goal of Bylaw Enforcement is voluntary compliance and a source of information for bylaw queries. The Bylaw Enforcement Office is open during normal business hours Monday to Friday. A voicemail messaging system is available after hours at 250.746.2500 

CVRD’s approach to Bylaw Enforcement is to:
Educate, warn and then enforce in order to achieve and maintain compliance.

CVRD will assist citizens to achieve compliance with the bylaws, as a source of knowledge, as we serve the public not only as an enforcement body but as “Their officers” as well.

CVRD’s actions will be

• Proportionate
• Legal
• Accountable
• Necessary
• Justified

Complaints will be dealt with by a number of response options, which include but are not limited to;

Phone call to discuss:
1. Concerns (with Citizens)
2. Provide education (to those causing infractions).

Site visits may be required if deemed appropriate by the Bylaw Compliance Officer in order to gather evidence or to provide:

Low level

advice such as
• Education
• Verbal warning


• Official written warning
• Municipal Ticket Information (ticket)

High level

• Court proceedings
• court orders
• covenants
• notice on title

Documented History of repeat and persistent offenders will also be taken into account when deciding response options as well as Offence type, Location, Offender, History (number of calls, enforcement action), Frequency of calls (day, date and time).
A Multiple Agency Partnership approach to complex problems is essential, working alongside RCMP, MOTi, DFO, FLNRO to resolve issues when appropriate.

Appeals Process

Should a member of the public wish to appeal the decision of CVRD bylaw department actions, appeals must be made in writing, to the Manager of Bylaw enforcement. Receipt of appeals will be made within 72 hours, to the complainant. Appeal actions by CVRD may consist of;

  1. Discussion with CVRD bylaw officer to further understand justification and appropriateness of action. At this stage, documented history regarding the citizen will be discussed.
  2. Discussion with the General Manager of Planning and development regarding justification and appropriateness of action.
  3. Closed session discussion with Electoral Area Board regarding justification and appropriateness of action.
  4. Legal advice may be sought at any stage, and in particular if an injunction or court order are appealed.
  5. An independent adjudicator may be sought to provide an unbiased and open minded opinion to appeals.
The complainant will be informed of an appeal decision once reached, and the decision explained to them. CVRD reserves the right to correctly investigate and apply appropriate timescales to the investigation. The complainant will be informed in writing unless they specify that phone call or emails are appropriate. Potential outcomes include:

  1. No further action. If the offence that the enforcement action was taken for has now been corrected, enforcement action may be removed.
  2. Where municipal ticket information (MTI) has been issued, this may be upheld and the MTI require payment, or cancelled, requiring no payment.
  3. For court orders or injunctions, legal advice may be sought to continue its pursuance or remove its restrictions
  4. Other options include but are not limited to; re-iteration of action taken with justification provided, re-imbursement of fines, fees or penalties, reconsideration of enforcement action, provision of verbal or written reasons for enforcement decision, meeting with the complainant, apologizing, investigation into malpractice, changing or developing a policy, amending a bylaw. 
Any appeal to the above decision(s) would require legal representation.
For any questions relating to bylaw enforcement, please contact CVRD on 250 – 746 – 2620
All CVRD Bylaws are listed in the Bylaw section of this website.  

Regulatory Bylaws

Regulatory bylaws that are enforced include: