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LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT — Continued
[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 323

Part 6 — Bylaws

Division 1 — General

Requirements for adopting bylaws

257 (1) Before a bylaw is adopted by a council, it must be given 3 readings by the council.

(2) There must be at least one day between the third reading and the adoption of a bylaw.

(3) If this or another Act requires that a bylaw receive

(a) approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, a minister or the inspector, or

(b) approval of the electors through a counter petition opportunity or assent of the electors,

the approval must be obtained after the bylaw has been given third reading and before it is adopted.

(4) If this or another Act requires that a bylaw receive both

(a) approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, a minister or the inspector, and

(b) approval of the electors through a counter petition opportunity or assent of the electors,

the approval under paragraph (a) must be obtained before the bylaw is submitted for approval under paragraph (b).

(5) Once adopted, a bylaw must

(a) be signed by the mayor or other presiding member of the council meeting at which it was adopted, and

(b) be signed by the municipal officer assigned responsibility under section 198 [corporate administration].

Establishment of procedures for adopting bylaws

258 (1) A council must, in its bylaw under section 235 [procedure bylaw], establish the procedure that, subject to this Part, is to be followed in adopting bylaws.

(2) Subject to section 257 (2), the bylaw may permit 2 or more readings at one meeting of council.

Power to amend or repeal

258.1 Unless otherwise provided,

(a) the power to adopt a bylaw under this or any other Act includes the power to repeal or amend the original bylaw,

(b) the included power to amend or repeal must be exercised by bylaw and is subject to the same approval and other requirements, if any, as the power to adopt the original bylaw, and

(c) the included power may be exercised in the original bylaw.

When a bylaw comes into force

259 A municipal bylaw comes into force on the later of

(a) the date it is adopted by council, and

(b) a date set by the bylaw.

Exercise of powers through municipal code

259.1 (1) Subject to this Act, a council may exercise some or all of its powers under this Act by the adoption of a comprehensive general bylaw.

(2) Without limiting the authority of a council under subsection (1), a comprehensive general bylaw under that subsection may be cited as "The (name of municipality) Municipal Code".

(3) A comprehensive general bylaw under subsection (1) is subject to all requirements that would apply to the exercise of the powers by separate bylaws.

Evidence of bylaw

259.2 A printed document purporting

(a) to be a copy of a municipal bylaw, and

(b) to be printed by authority of the council of the municipality

is proof, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, of the bylaw and of the fact of its passage.

Bylaws must be available for public inspections

259.3 (1) The bylaws of a municipality must be available for public inspection in the municipal hall during its regular office hours.

(2) and (3) [Repealed 1999-37-67.]

Division 2 — Challenge of Bylaws

Extended definition of "bylaw"

260 In this Division, "bylaw" includes an order or resolution.

Validity of council proceedings

261 A bylaw, contract or other proceeding of a council must not be set aside or declared invalid if the only reason for doing so is that

(a) a person sitting or voting as a council member was not qualified to be a council member at or before the time of the proceeding,

(b) a council member renounced claim to office on council,

(c) an election for council was set aside or declared invalid after the proceeding, or

(d) an election of a council member was set aside or declared invalid after the proceeding.

Application to court to set aside bylaw

262 (1) On application of an elector of a municipality, or of a person interested in a bylaw of the council, the Supreme Court may

(a) set aside all or part of the bylaw for illegality, and

(b) award costs for or against the municipality according to the result of the application.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a security issuing bylaw providing for the issue of debenture or other evidence of indebtedness to a regional district or to the Municipal Finance Authority of British Columbia.

(3) Notice of an application to set aside a bylaw, stating the grounds of the application, must be served on the municipality as follows:

(a) if the bylaw is a security issuing bylaw, the notice must be served at least 5 days before the hearing and not more than 10 days after the adoption of the bylaw;

(b) if the bylaw is a bylaw requiring the assent of the electors that the council purported to adopt without assent, the notice may be served more than one month after the adoption of the bylaw, but must be served at least 10 days before the hearing;

(c) in any other case, the notice must be served at least 10 days before the hearing and not more than one month after the adoption of the bylaw.

(4) Except for a bylaw referred to in subsection (3) (b), an order under this section relating to a bylaw must not be made unless the application is heard within 2 months after the adoption of the bylaw.

Assessment or rate stands unless bylaw set aside

263 A person assessed under or subject to a rate under a bylaw by which an assessment is made or a rate is imposed is not entitled to plead a defect in the bylaw as a defence to a claim for payment of that rate except by application to set aside the bylaw.

Declaratory orders

264 (1) An application for a declaratory order relating to a bylaw must not be entertained more than one month after the adoption of the bylaw, if the application is brought on the ground of

(a) irregularity in the method of enactment, or

(b) irregularity in the form of a bylaw.

(2) Except for a bylaw referred to in section 262 (3) (b), a declaratory order relating to a bylaw must not be made unless the application is heard within 2 months after the adoption of the bylaw.

Right of action on illegal bylaw

265 (1) If

(a) all or part of a bylaw is illegal, and

(b) anything has been done under the bylaw that, because of the illegality, gives a person a right of action,

the action must not be brought until the end of the time period under subsection (2).

(2) An action referred to in subsection (1) must not be brought until

(a) one month after all or part of the bylaw has been set aside, and

(b) one month's notice has been given to the municipality.

(3) An action referred to in subsection (1) must be brought against the municipality only, and not against a person acting under the bylaw.

Division 3 — Enforcement of Bylaws

Fines and penalties

266 A council may make bylaws for

(a) the purposes of enforcing the bylaws of the municipality by fine, imprisonment or both, and

(b) inflicting fines, penalties and costs.

Bylaw contraventions — offences and penalties

267 (1) If a bylaw establishes a lawful regulation or requirement to be observed in a municipality, a person who breaches the regulation or requirement commits an offence that is punishable in the same manner as if the bylaw had expressly forbidden persons from doing or refraining from doing the act.

(2) In a prosecution for an offence against a municipal bylaw, the justice or court may impose all or part of the penalty or punishment authorized by the bylaw, this Act or the Offence Act, together with the costs of prosecution.

(3) If a penalty, or part of a penalty, and all costs imposed are not paid promptly, the justice or court may, by order, authorize all or part of the penalty and costs to be levied by distress and sale of the offender's goods and chattels.

(4) If there is no distress out of which the penalty and costs or part of the penalty and all of the costs can be levied, the justice or court may commit the offender to imprisonment for the term, or part of the term, specified in the bylaw.

Inspections to determine whether bylaws are being followed

268 If a council has authority to direct that a matter or thing be done by a person or that regulations be observed, the council may, by bylaw, authorize officers, employees and agents of the municipality to enter at all reasonable times on any property that is subject to the direction to ascertain whether the requirement is being met or the regulations are being observed.

Municipal action at defaulter's expense

269 (1) If a council has authority to require that a matter or thing be done by a person, the council may also direct that, if the person fails to take the required action, the matter or thing is to be done at the expense of the person in default with the costs incurred by the municipality recoverable from the person as a debt.

(2) Section 376 applies to an amount recoverable under subsection (1) that is incurred for work done or services provided to land or improvements.

Section Repealed

270 [Repealed 1999-37-70.]

Division 4 — Ticketing for Bylaw Offences

Definition of person who is a "justice"

271 In this Division, "justice" has the same meaning as in the Offence Act.

Ticket offences

272 (1) A council or a regional district board may, by bylaw,

(a) designate for the purpose of this section a bylaw that comes within a category of bylaws prescribed under section 280 (b),

(b) designate as a bylaw enforcement officer a person who comes within a class of persons prescribed under section 280 (c), and

(c) authorize the use of any word or expression on a ticket issued under subsection (2) to designate an offence against a bylaw.

(2) If a bylaw is designated under subsection (1), a bylaw enforcement officer may lay an information by means of a ticket for contravention of the bylaw.

(3) Despite section 13 (1) of the Offence Act, an information laid by means of a ticket is valid whether or not it is taken under oath.

(4) The use on a ticket of

(a) any word or expression authorized by bylaw under subsection (1) (c) to designate an offence against a bylaw, or

(b) a general description of an offence against a bylaw,

is deemed sufficient for all purposes to describe the offence designated by that word or expression or general description.

(5) For the purpose of section 274 (1), after consultation with the chief judge of the Provincial Court, the council or the regional district board may, by bylaw, set a fine not greater than $500 for contravention of a bylaw.

(6) If a minimum or maximum fine is established by a bylaw, the fine set under subsection (5) must be not less than the minimum or more than the maximum fine established by the bylaw.

Laying information and serving ticket

273 (1) When laying an information by means of a ticket, a bylaw enforcement officer must indicate on the ticket the offence charged and must sign the ticket.

(2) The bylaw enforcement officer must serve the ticket on the person alleged to have contravened the bylaw.

(3) Service of a ticket under subsection (2) may be effected by

(a) serving a copy of the ticket on the person alleged to have contravened the bylaw immediately after the alleged contravention, or

(b) causing a copy of the ticket to be served in the same manner as a summons may be served under the Offence Act.

(4) Service of a ticket under subsection (2) may be proved by

(a) the oral evidence given under oath of the person who served it, or

(b) the certificate of the person who served the ticket, if the certificate is endorsed on the ticket or a copy of the ticket.

(5) The certificate referred to in subsection (4) is proof of the facts stated in the certificate and of the authority of the person who signed it without further proof of the person's appointment or signature.

Choice of paying fine or disputing ticket

274 (1) If a fine set in accordance with section 272 (5) is indicated on a ticket for an offence charged, the person on whom the ticket is served may, within 14 days after the date of service,

(a) pay the fine indicated on the ticket to the council or regional district board in accordance with the prescribed instructions, or

(b) dispute the allegation contained in the ticket by

(i) delivering or having delivered to the address set out in the ticket a written notice of dispute, or

(ii) appearing in person at the location set out in the ticket to give notice of dispute.

(2) A notice of dispute under subsection (1) must contain an address for the person disputing the allegation and sufficient information to identify the ticket and the alleged contravention being disputed.

(3) For the purpose of subsection (1), a notice of dispute that is delivered by mail is deemed to have been delivered on the date on which it was mailed.

Effect of paying fine

275 (1) A person who pays a fine in accordance with section 274 (1) (a) is deemed to have pleaded guilty to the offence with which the person was charged and to have paid the fine imposed.

(2) If a person who is served with a ticket pays the fine as referred to in subsection (1), no conviction need be drawn up or entered unless it is required under the bylaw contravened or by the person convicted or by a prosecutor.

Hearing of dispute

276 (1) If notice of dispute is given in accordance with section 274 (1) (b), the council or regional district board must refer the ticket to the Provincial Court for a hearing.

(2) If a ticket is referred to the Provincial Court for a hearing under subsection (1), the clerk of the court must send to the person who was served with the ticket, by ordinary mail to the person's address set out in the notice of dispute, a notice of the hearing specifying a time and place for the appearance of the person before a justice.

(3) If a person appears before a justice at the time and place specified in the notice of the hearing referred to in subsection (2), section 58 of the Offence Act does not apply to the person and the justice has jurisdiction to hear the dispute without examining the notice of dispute or the notice of the hearing or inquiring into the service of the ticket on the person.

(4) If a person who is served with a ticket has

(a) appeared before a justice at the time and place specified in the notice of the hearing referred to in subsection (2), and

(b) pleaded guilty to or been found guilty of the offence with which the person was charged in the ticket,

no conviction need be drawn up or entered unless it is required under the bylaw contravened or by the person convicted or by a prosecutor.

Failure to appear at hearing

277 (1) A person is deemed to have not disputed a charge if the person fails to appear before a justice to dispute the charge

(a) at the time and place specified in the notice of the hearing referred to in section 276 (2), or

(b) at a new time and place set under section 279 (4).

(2) If a person is deemed under subsection (1) to have not disputed a charge, a justice must examine the ticket and proceed as follows:

(a) if the ticket is complete and regular on its face, the justice must

(i) convict the person in the person's absence and without a hearing, and

(ii) impose the fine set under section 272 (5) for the offence charged;

(b) if the ticket is not complete and regular on its face, the justice must quash the proceeding.

(3) Nothing in subsection (1) or (2) is to be construed as abrogating the right of a person to appeal the conviction under section 102 of the Offence Act.

Failure to respond to ticket

278 (1) A person served with a ticket under section 273 is deemed to have not disputed the charge if

(a) the person does not pay the fine or dispute the charge, as provided in section 274 (1), and

(b) at least 14 days have elapsed after the ticket was served on the person.

(2) If a person is deemed under subsection (1) to have not disputed the charge, a justice, on being satisfied that the conditions set out in that subsection have been met, must examine the ticket and proceed as follows:

(a) if the ticket is complete and regular on its face, the justice must

(i) convict the person in the person's absence and without a hearing, and

(ii) impose the fine set under section 272 (5) for the offence charged;

(b) if the ticket is not complete and regular on its face, the justice must quash the proceeding.

(3) The conditions set out in subsection (1) may be proved to the satisfaction of the justice by oral evidence given under oath or by affidavit in the prescribed form.

(4) Nothing in subsection (1) is to be construed as abrogating the right of a person to appeal the conviction under section 102 of the Offence Act.

Time extensions if person not at fault in failing to respond or appear

279 (1) A person who is served with a ticket may appear before a justice if

(a) the person has, through no fault of that person, not had an opportunity to dispute the charge, and

(b) not more than 30 days have elapsed since the end of the period referred to in section 274 (1).

(2) If a person appears before a justice under subsection (1), the justice, on being satisfied of the facts by affidavit in the prescribed form, must

(a) strike out the conviction, if any, and

(b) allow the person 14 days after the date on which the conviction is struck to dispute the charge in accordance with section 274 (1).

(3) If a person fails to appear before a justice to dispute a charge at the time and place specified in the notice of the hearing referred to in section 276 (2), the person may, within 30 days after the date specified in the notice, appear before a justice for a determination of whether or not the failure to appear was the person's fault.

(4) If a person appears before a justice under subsection (3) and the justice is satisfied by affidavit in the prescribed form that the failure to appear was not the person's fault, the justice must

(a) strike out the conviction, if any, and

(b) set a new time and place for the appearance of the person before a justice.

(5) If a conviction is struck out under subsection (2) or (4), the justice must give the person a certificate of the fact in the prescribed form.

Regulations in relation to ticket offences

280 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows:

(a) prescribing the form and content of the tickets issued under section this Division;

(b) prescribing, by reference to their subject matter or otherwise, categories of bylaws for the purpose of section 272 (1) (a);

(c) prescribing classes of persons for the purpose of section 272 (1) (b);

(d) prescribing the form of a certificate of service for the purpose of section 273 (4);

(e) prescribing instructions for paying a fine for the purpose of section 274 (1) (a);

(f) prescribing the form of affidavits for the purposes of section 278 (3) and 279 (2) and (4);

(g) prescribing the form of a certificate under section 279 (5).

Division 5 — Consolidation and Revision of Bylaws

Consolidation of bylaws

280.1 (1) A council may, by bylaw, authorize a designated municipal officer to consolidate one or more of the bylaws of the municipality.

(2) In consolidating a bylaw, the officer must

(a) incorporate in it all amendments that have been made to the bylaw, and

(b) omit any provision that has been repealed or that has expired.

(3) A printed document purporting

(a) to be a copy of a bylaw consolidated under this section, and

(b) to be printed by authority of the designated officer

is proof, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, of the original bylaw, of all bylaws amending it and of the fact of passage of the original and all amending bylaws.

Revision of bylaws

280.2 (1) A council may, by bylaw, authorize the revision of all or any of the bylaws of the municipality.

(2) A bylaw under subsection (1) may authorize one or more of the following:

(a) consolidating a bylaw by incorporating in it all amendments to the bylaw;

(b) omitting and providing for the repeal of a bylaw or a provision of a bylaw that is expired, inoperative, obsolete, spent or otherwise ineffective;

(c) omitting, without providing for its repeal, a bylaw or a provision of a bylaw that is of a transitional nature or that refers only to a particular place, person or thing or that has no general application throughout the municipality;

(d) combining 2 or more bylaws into one, dividing a bylaw into 2 or more bylaws, moving provisions from one bylaw to another and creating a bylaw from provisions of one or more bylaws;

(e) altering the citation and title of a bylaw and the numbering and arrangement of its provisions;

(f) adding, changing or omitting a note, heading, title, marginal note, diagram, map, plan or example to a bylaw;

(g) omitting the preamble and long title of a bylaw;

(h) omitting forms or schedules contained in a bylaw that can more conveniently be contained in a resolution, and adding to the bylaw authority for forms or schedules to be established by resolution;

(i) correcting clerical, grammatical and typographical errors;

(j) making changes, without changing the substance of the bylaw, to bring out more clearly what is considered to be the meaning of a bylaw or to improve the expression of the law.

Revision may consolidate existing bylaws into municipal code

280.3 (1) Subject to this Act, a bylaw under section 280.2 may authorize a revision to consolidate and revise bylaw provisions respecting any or all matters within the jurisdiction of the municipality into a comprehensive general bylaw.

(2) Without limiting the authority of a council under subsection (1), a comprehensive general bylaw consolidated under that subsection may be cited as provided in section 259.1.

(3) Changes to a comprehensive general bylaw consolidated under subsection (1) are subject to all requirements that would apply to the exercise of the powers by separate bylaws.

Bylaw required to adopt revision

280.4 (1) In order to be effective, a revised bylaw must be adopted by bylaw.

(2) Before a bylaw under subsection (1) is given third reading, the municipal officer assigned responsibility under section 198 [corporate administration] must certify that the proposed revised bylaw has been revised in accordance with the bylaw authorizing the revision.

(3) After a proposed revised bylaw is certified under subsection (2) and before it is adopted, it may only be amended if the change made by the amendment is in accordance with the bylaw authorizing the revision.

(4) A bylaw under subsection (1) must specify the date on which the revised bylaw is to come into force.

(5) A revised bylaw adopted under this section is deemed to have been adopted as if all requirements respecting the approval and adoption of the bylaw provision for which a provision in the revised bylaw is substituted have been met.

Effect of revised bylaws

280.5 (1) When a revised bylaw comes into force, the bylaw provisions that it revises are repealed to the extent that they are incorporated in the revised bylaw.

(2) A reference in an enactment or document to a provision of a bylaw that has been repealed under subsection (1) is deemed, in respect of any transaction, matter or thing occurring after the revised bylaw comes into force, to be a reference to the provision of the revised bylaw that has been substituted for the repealed provision.

(3) A revised bylaw does not operate as new law but has effect and must be interpreted as a consolidation of the law contained in the bylaw provisions replaced by the revised bylaw.

(4) To the extent that a provision of a revised bylaw has the same effect as the provision of a previous bylaw for which it is substituted, the provision of the revised bylaw operates retrospectively as well as prospectively and is deemed to have come into force on the date on which the previous bylaw provision came into force.

(5) If a provision of a revised bylaw does not have the same effect as the provision of a previous bylaw for which it is substituted,

(a) the provision of the previous bylaw prevails with respect to all transactions, matters and things occurring before the date on which the revised bylaw comes into force, and

(b) the provision of the revised bylaw prevails with respect to all later transactions, matters and things.

Correction of revision errors

280.6 (1) If an error is made in the revision of a bylaw and the revised bylaw has been adopted under section 280.4, the error may be corrected by bylaw in accordance with the bylaw authorizing the revision.

(2) A bylaw under subsection (1) is deemed to have been adopted as if all requirements respecting the approval and adoption of a bylaw provision for which the provision in the revised bylaw was substituted have been met.


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