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LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT — Continued
[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 323
Part 15 — Municipal Services
Division 1 — Service Powers
517 (1) Subject to the specific limitations and conditions established by or under this or another Act, a municipality may operate any service that the council considers necessary or desirable for all or part of the municipality.
(2) The authority under subsection (1) includes the authority to operate a service in an area outside the municipality as well as in the municipality itself.
(3) A municipal service may be operated directly by the municipality or through another public authority, person or organization.
517.1 (1) In order to operate a service, the council must first adopt an establishing bylaw for the service.
(2) As an exception, an establishing bylaw is not required for the following:
(a) general administration;
(b) undertaking feasibility studies in relation to proposed services;
(c) a service for which authority is expressly provided by another Part of this Act or by another enactment.
518 (1) Before establishing a service referred to in section 517 (2) [services outside municipality], the council must obtain the consent of the other affected local government as follows:
(a) if the area is in another municipality, the consent of the council of that other municipality is required;
(b) if the area is not in another municipality, the consent of the regional district board for the area is required.
(2) If a service referred to in subsection (1) is established, the powers, duties and functions of the municipality under this Part, and in relation to enforcement, may be exercised in relation to the service in the area in which the service is provided.
518.1 (1) A bylaw under this Part may
(a) establish different classes of persons, places, activities or things, and
(b) make different provisions for different classes and for different areas of the municipality.
(2) A council may, by bylaw, regulate in relation to a municipal service.
(3) A power to regulate under this Part includes the power to prohibit.
(4) Without limiting subsection (2), a bylaw under this Part may provide for a system of licences, permits or approvals in relation to a municipal service, including one or more of the following:
(a) prohibiting any activity or thing until a licence, permit or approval has been granted;
(b) providing for the granting and refusal of licences, permits and approvals;
(c) providing for the duration periods of licences, permits and approvals;
(d) providing that terms and conditions may be imposed on any licence, permit or approval, the nature of the terms and conditions and who may impose them;
(e) setting out the conditions that must be met before a licence, permit or approval is granted, the nature of the conditions and who may impose them;
(f) providing for the suspension or cancellation of licences, permits and approvals for
(i) failure to comply with a term or condition of a licence, permit or approval, or
(ii) failure to comply with the bylaw.
519 If a municipality has established works or facilities outside the municipality for the purposes of a municipal service, the council may, by bylaw, regulate the use of the works and facilities.
Division 2 — Police Services
520 (1) This section applies to municipalities with a population greater than 5 000.
(2) Despite any Act or the letters patent incorporating a municipality, but subject to the Justice Administration Act and the Police Act, each municipality must bear the expense necessary to
(a) generally maintain law and order in the municipality,
(b) provide offices for the police force or police department,
(c) provide premises as a place of detention, and
(d) provide for the care and custody of persons held in a place of detention referred to in paragraph (c).
(3) The Minister of Finance and Corporate Relations may reimburse a municipality out of money appropriated for the purpose by paying an amount prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council for the expense of the care and custody of a person who is detained in a place of detention and is within a class prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
521 (1) Subject to this section, property that has come into the custody and possession of the police force or police department on behalf of a municipality may be disposed of by a person authorized by council if
(a) the owner of the property has not been identified after reasonable effort, and
(b) a court of competent jurisdiction has not made an order in respect of the property.
(2) Except as permitted under subsection (3), the property must not be disposed of until it has been in the possession of the police for 3 months.
(3) The property may be disposed of at any time if
(a) it is a perishable article,
(b) has no apparent marketable value, or
(c) its custody involves unreasonable expense or inconvenience.
(4) Except for property referred to in subsection (3), the municipality must provide advance notice, by publication in a newspaper, of the sale or other disposal process.
(5) A person who receives or purchases property as provided in this section has a good and sufficient title to that article as against any former owner of it.
(6) Unless claimed by and paid to the lawful owner of the property, the proceeds of any sale must be held for one year from the date of sale before being dealt with as directed by the council.
(7) The municipality, a member of the council, a person in lawful custody of property referred to in subsection (1) or an officer, employee or agent of the municipality, is not liable in damages or otherwise for or in respect of any claim that may arise in respect of the property after it has been disposed of under this section.
Division 3 — Fire Protection
522 (1) Subject to the Fire Services Act and the regulations under it, a council may, by bylaw, do one or more of the following:
(a) authorize the fire chief to
(i) inspect premises for conditions that may cause a fire or increase the danger of a fire or increase the danger to persons, and
(ii) take the measures described in the bylaw to prevent and suppress fires, including the demolition of buildings and structures to prevent the spreading of fire;
(b) require the owners or occupiers of real property to remove from a building or yard anything that, in the opinion of the fire chief, is a fire hazard or increases the danger of fire;
(c) if property is endangered by debris caused by lumbering, land clearing or industrial operation, require the person who is carrying on or who has carried on the operation, or the owner or occupier of the land on which the debris exists, to
(i) dispose of the debris, and
(ii) undertake any other actions for the purpose of removing or reducing the danger
as directed by the bylaw or by the fire chief;
(d) deal with any matter within the scope of the Fire Services Act in a manner not contrary to that Act or the regulations under it.
(2) The authority of the fire chief under a bylaw under subsection (1) may be exercised by a person under the authority of the fire chief or by another person designated in the bylaw.
Division 4 — Health
523 (1) Subject to the Health Act, a council may, by bylaw,
(a) regulate for the purposes of maintaining, promoting or preserving public health or maintaining sanitary conditions, and
(b) undertake any other measures it considers necessary for those purposes.
(2) A provision of a bylaw under subsection (1) that regulates is not valid until approved by the Minister of Health, who may consider and deal with it accordingly.
(3) As a limit on subsection (1), a council must not fluoridate the water supply unless the bylaw has received the assent of the electors.
Division 5 — Highways
524 (1) The right of possession of every highway in a municipality is vested in the municipality, subject to any rights in the soil reserved by the persons who laid out the highway.
(2) Except as referred to in subsection (1), the right of possession of the municipality is not adversely affected or derogated from by prescription in favour of any other occupier.
525 (1) The soil and freehold of every highway in a municipality are vested in the Provincial government.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if a municipality has purchased or taken land for a highway and its title is registered in the name of the municipality.
(3) A council may, by bylaw, dispose of a portion of a highway in exchange for land necessary for the purpose of improving, widening, straightening, relocating or diverting a highway.
(4) Before adopting a bylaw under subsection (3), the council must have notice of its intention published in a newspaper once each week for 2 consecutive weeks.
(5) A disposition under subsection (3) has the same effect as a Crown grant free of all rights of way, and all land taken in exchange for a portion of a highway under that subsection are public highways, and title to them vests in the Provincial government.
(6) Under special circumstances, the minister may abandon a portion of a highway vested in the Provincial government and vest title in land comprised in that portion in a person.
(7) A vesting under subsection (6) has the same effect as a Crown grant vesting title to the land in the person.
526 (1) Without limiting section 176 [corporate powers], a council may enter into an agreement with an owner of land for reserving any part of the land for highway purposes, including the condition that the land reserved must remain unencumbered by buildings or structures.
(2) An agreement under subsection (1) has the effect of a restrictive covenant running with the land and must be registered in the land title office by the municipality.
527 (1) A council may, by bylaw, do one or more of the following:
(a) authorize the establishment, widening, alteration, relocation or diversion of a highway or a portion of it;
(b) close a highway, or a portion of it, to traffic;
(c) reopen a highway or portion of it that has been closed to traffic.
(1.1) At least 30 days before adopting a bylaw under subsection (1) (b), the council must publish notice of its intention in a newspaper.
(1.2) Before adopting a bylaw under subsection (1) (b), the council must provide an opportunity for persons who consider they are affected by the bylaw to make representations to council.
(2) A council may authorize a designated municipal officer or a municipal employee, at the person's discretion, to
(a) temporarily close a highway or part of it to traffic, or
(b) control traffic,
in connection with a construction or maintenance project on or adjacent to the highway.
528 (1) A council may, by bylaw,
(a) assign a name or number to a highway, or
(b) change the name or number of a highway.
(2) A bylaw under subsection (1) does not have effect until a certified copy is filed in the land title office.
(3) On receipt of a bylaw changing the name or number of a highway, the registrar of land titles must note the change on
(a) any subdivision plan in the land title office that dedicated the highway, and
(b) any plan filed or deposited in the land title office on which the highway is named.
529 Subject to Division 3 of Part 8 [Expropriation and Compensation], a council may, by bylaw, construct works through, under or over land adjoining a highway for the protection of the highway from damage by water.
530 A council may, by bylaw, do one or more of the following:
(a) require owners or occupiers of real property to place building or structure numbers assigned by the municipality in a conspicuous place;
(b) require owners or occupiers of real property to remove snow, ice or rubbish from sidewalks and foot paths bordering their property or from the roof or other part of a structure adjacent to a highway;
(c) require owners of private highways to maintain them in a clean, fit and safe state and to post suitable private thoroughfare signs;
(d) require owners of land to fence any part of it abutting on a highway.
531 (1) Subject to the Highway Act, the Motor Carrier Act and the Motor Vehicle Act, a council may, by bylaw adopted with the approval of the Minister of Transportation and Highways,
(a) regulate extraordinary traffic within the meaning of section 23 of the Highway Act, and
(b) provide that the powers exercisable by the Minister of Transportation and Highways in respect of extraordinary traffic are to be exercised in the municipality by the council or by a designated municipal officer.
(2) A bylaw under subsection (1) may
(a) classify highways or portions of highways, including sidewalks and boulevards, according to areas or zones in the municipality and according to widths, amount of traffic or otherwise, and
(b) make different regulations for different classes of highways, classes of vehicles, seasons of the year and conditions of highways.
532 (1) Despite any other Act but subject to the Motor Vehicle Act, a council may, by bylaw, regulate
(a) all uses of or involving a highway or portion of it, other than uses by extraordinary traffic referred to in section 531, and
(b) all uses of or involving a public place.
(2) Except as permitted by a bylaw under subsection (1), a person must not excavate in, cause a nuisance on, encumber, obstruct, injure, foul or damage any portion of a highway or other public place.
(3) Without limiting subsections (1) and (2) and in addition to the authority under section 521 [disposal of property in police possession], a council may
(a) authorize the removal, detention or impounding of any thing or obstruction unlawfully occupying a portion of a highway or public place,
(b) provide for a scale of fees, costs and expenses for such removal, detention or impounding, and
(c) provide for the recovery of those fees, costs and expenses
(i) from the owner of the thing or obstruction,
(ii) by its sale at public auction, or
(iii) by action in a court of competent jurisdiction.
(4) A person who is being unreasonably prevented from carrying out any work, undertaking or construction lawfully permitted on, over or under a highway or other public place may appeal to the Supreme Court.
(5) On an appeal under subsection (4), the court may order that the applicant be permitted to carry out the work, undertaking or construction under the conditions specified in the order.
533 (1) A council may, by bylaw, require the removal of
(b) poles, or
(c) towers or other structures
on, in, over, under or along a highway that are considered by the council to be dangerous to the public safety.
(2) A council may require a person permitted to erect poles on highways to provide reasonable accommodation on the poles for wires and equipment of the municipality on agreed terms, and section 334 [limit on borrowing and other liabilities] does not apply to the agreement.
(3) If the parties are unable to reach an agreement referred to in subsection (2), the matters must be settled by arbitration, and for these purposes the Commercial Arbitration Act applies.
534 (1) A council may allow the construction of gates across a highway
(a) at points considered advisable within 800 m of a railway crossing, or
(b) for the assistance of customs and other officials in the performance of their duties.
(2) A municipality is not subject to any liability by reason of the fact that gates may have been constructed across a highway or that damages may have resulted to a person by reason of their existence.
535 (1) In this section and sections 536 and 537, "boundary highway" means a highway that forms all or part of the boundary between municipalities.
(2) All boundary highways must be opened, maintained, kept in repair and improved by the municipalities of which they form a boundary.
(3) The councils of the municipalities have joint jurisdiction over the boundary highway and are liable accordingly, although the highway may, in some places, deviate to be wholly or partly inside one or more of the municipalities.
536 (1) A municipal bylaw respecting a boundary highway does not have effect for the highway until mutually acceptable bylaws have been adopted by the other councils with joint jurisdiction.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a work of local improvement undertaken on petition wholly at the cost of the owners of abutting property, if
(a) the work is inside the municipality proposing to carry out the work, and
(b) one month's notice of intention has been given to the other councils with joint jurisdiction.
(3) If a council fails to adopt an acceptable bylaw referred to in subsection (1) within 3 months of being given notice of the initial bylaw, the failure is an inability to agree within the meaning of section 537 and that section applies.
537 (1) If the municipalities interested in all or part of a boundary highway are unable to agree to their joint action in opening, maintaining, repairing or improving the highway, one or more of the councils may apply to the Minister of Transportation and Highways for a decision under this section.
(2) On an application under subsection (1), the Minister of Transportation and Highways may set the amount that each municipality is required to spend on the highway and the mode of expenditure.
(3) A decision under this section is final and binding on the municipalities interested, and may be enforced by any municipality in a court of competent jurisdiction.
(4) All sums of money overpaid by a municipality for opening, maintaining, repairing or improving the boundary highway may be recovered as a debt due to the municipality from a municipality in default or neglecting to make the payment directed by a decision under this section.
538 (1) This section applies if 2 or more adjoining municipalities, including the City of Vancouver,
(a) are served by a highway that transects those municipalities, and
(b) as a result, are interested in but unable to agree on the use, location, function, maintenance, repair or improvement of the highway.
(2) The Minister of Transportation and Highways, on the minister's own initiative or on the application of one or more of the councils of the affected municipalities, may
(a) determine the use and location of the highway or extensions,
(b) designate the function of the highway, and
(c) set the amount that each municipality is required to spend on the highway and the mode of expenditure.
(3) A decision of the Minister of Transportation and Highways under this section is final and binding on the affected municipalities.
(4) Section 536 [bylaws respecting intermunicipal boundary highways] applies to a highway under this section and section 537 [disputes respecting boundary highways] applies to enforcement of the decision under this section.
539 (1) If a river or stream forms all or part of the boundary between 2 or more municipalities, the councils of the municipalities may, by bylaw adopted by all councils, undertake the construction of a bridge across the river or stream.
(2) A bridge constructed under subsection (1) must be maintained and kept in repair jointly by the municipalities, and is under their joint jurisdiction and control.
(3) Sections 536 [bylaws respecting intermunicipal boundary highways] and 537 [disputes respecting boundary highways] apply to the construction and maintenance of intermunicipal bridges.
Division 6 — Sewers, Storm Drains and Drainage
540 A council may, by bylaw,
(a) regulate the design and installation of drainage and sewerage works provided by persons other than the municipality, and
(b) require owners of real property to connect their buildings and structures to the appropriate sewer or drain connections in the manner specified in the bylaw.
541 A council may, by bylaw, make a watercourse part of the municipal drainage system, whether the watercourse is on a highway or municipal or private land.
542 (1) In this section and section 543, "stream" means a stream as defined in the Water Act.
(2) A council may, by bylaw,
(a) establish requirements that must be met by persons undertaking the construction of
(ii) works to maintain the proper flow of water in a stream, ditch, drain or sewer in the municipality, or
(iii) works to reclaim or to protect part of the land mass of the municipality from erosion by action of the sea or a stream, or any other cause, and
(b) establish requirements that must be met by owners of dikes.
543 (1) For the purpose of constructing works referred to in subsection (2), a council may appropriate the land that constitutes the channel or bed of a stream that passes through the municipality, without compensation to the owner.
(2) The power under subsection (1) may be exercised in relation to one or more of the following:
(b) works to maintain the proper flow of water in a stream, ditch, drain or sewer in the municipality;
(c) works to reclaim or to protect part of the land mass of the municipality from erosion by action of the sea or a stream, or any other cause;
(d) works to protect all or part of the banks of the stream from erosion or damage;
(e) works to make a watercourse part of the municipal drainage system, whether the watercourse is on a highway or municipal or private land;
(f) works through, under or over land adjoining a highway to protect the highway from damage by water.
(3) Before exercising the power under subsection (1), the council must, by bylaw, define the channel or bed of the stream.
(4) A certified copy of every bylaw under subsection (3), together with a plan showing the channel or bed of the stream as defined in the bylaw, must be filed in the land title office of the district in which the land affected is located.
544 (1) This section applies if a council considers that
(a) the drainage of surface water from outside the municipality into or through an area inside the municipality should be prevented, diverted or improved, or
(b) drainage of or from an area in the municipality should be prevented, continued beyond the municipality, diverted or improved,
and proposes to undertake works for these purposes.
(2) Before undertaking the proposed works, notice must be
(a) given to any other local government whose area may be affected, and
(b) served on all owners of land that may be affected.
(3) The notice under subsection (2) must state
(a) the place in the municipality where details of the project may be inspected, and
(b) the date by which objections to the project must be received by the municipality.
(4) The date under subsection (3) (b) must be at least one month after the date on which the notice is given under subsection (2).
(5) On application, the Supreme Court may order that the notice under subsection (2) (b) may be served by substituted service in accordance with the order.
(6) The designated municipal officer must make a full report to the inspector on all objections received.
(7) On the application of a council, the minister may authorize works proposed under this section on the terms of compensation and cost to owners of land affected that the minister considers proper.
545 (1) A person may appeal to the minister if,
(a) in order to provide an outlet for a surface drain, the person must continue the drain into an adjoining parcel of land or across or along a highway, and
(b) the owner of an adjoining parcel or the council refuses to enter into an agreement under which the drain may be continued.
(2) On an appeal under subsection (1), the minister may direct the municipality to provide the necessary works and may determine by whom the cost of the works must be borne.
546 (1) A municipality may apply to the Supreme Court for an order under this section against a person who
(a) obstructs, fills up or injures a ditch, drain, creek or watercourse constructed or improved under this Act, or
(b) cuts, destroys or injures a dike or other drainage or reclamation work connected with it.
(2) On an application under this section, the court may order the person to undertake the restoration work directed by the court and, in addition, to pay a penalty not greater than $2 000.
547 (1) If a dike is crossed by a highway or private road, the level of the dike must not be interfered with.
(2) If the top of a dike forms a portion of a highway, it is the duty of the council to maintain it at a constant level, and to repair all injury directly or indirectly caused to the dike by its use as a highway.
(3) For certainty, a council's duty under subsection (2) is limited to the highway as a highway and, except as otherwise required, does not extend to or include repair or maintenance of the dike as distinct from the highway.
(4) As an exception, subsection (2) does not apply if the council has granted a diking commission the privilege of using the existing road for a dike.
548 (1) A council may make agreements with adjoining municipalities, and also with the owner of any land, through, on or in which runs a natural stream or watercourse, for one or more of the following:
(a) constructing, enlarging or maintaining a culvert, ditch, flume, embankment or other work;
(b) removing obstructions from the stream or watercourse to lessen or prevent the danger of flooding from it;
(c) the granting, expending or accepting of money for the purposes referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b), even though the work may not be located in the municipality granting, expending or accepting the money or entering into the agreement.
(2) Sections 536 [bylaws respecting intermunicipal boundary highways] and 537 [disputes respecting intermunicipal boundary highways] apply to intermunicipal watercourses.
549 (1) A district municipality may
(a) collect the water from any highway by means of drains or ditches, and
(b) convey to and discharge the water in the most convenient natural waterway or watercourse.
(2) A municipality proposing to construct ditches or drains authorized by subsection (1) must publish a notice in accordance with subsection (3) in a newspaper once a week for 4 consecutive weeks.
(3) The notice under subsection (2) must state that
(a) the municipality intends to undertake the works,
(b) plans and specifications of the works may be inspected at the municipal hall, and
(c) all claims for damages or compensation arising out of the construction, maintenance, operation or use of the works must be filed with the municipality within one month from the date of the fourth publication of the notice.
(4) No person has a claim for damages or compensation arising out of or by reason of the construction, maintenance, operation or use of the ditches or drains unless the person has filed a claim referred to in subsection (3) (c) within the time period established by that subsection.
(5) If the municipality proceeds with the works or a portion of them, every claim must be determined in accordance with Division 3 of Part 8 [Expropriation and Compensation].
(6) If the construction of the drains or ditches is not started within one year from the date of the fourth publication of the notice under subsection (2), the construction must not proceed unless new notice is given in accordance with that subsection.
(7) No action arising out of, by reason of or in respect of the construction, maintenance, operation or use of a drain or ditch authorized by this section, whenever the drain or ditch is or was constructed, may be brought or maintained in a court against a district municipality.
(8) This section does not restrict the powers of the municipality under this Act or another enactment and, in the case of a conflict, this section prevails.
Division 7 — Waste and Recycling
550 A council may, by bylaw, do one or more of the following:
(a) require persons to use a waste disposal or recycling service, including requiring persons to use a waste disposal or recycling service provided by or on behalf of the municipality;
(b) require owners or occupiers of real property to remove trade waste, garbage, rubbish and other matter from their property and take it to a specified place;
(c) require the emptying, cleansing and disinfecting of private drains, cesspools, septic tanks and outhouses, and the removal and disposal of refuse from them.
Division 8 — Miscellaneous
551 (1) Subject to the Highway Act, a council may, by bylaw, regulate the erection, placing, alteration, maintenance, demolition and removal of a sign, sign board, advertisement, advertising device or structure, or any class of them.
(2) For the purpose of subsection (1), a council may
(a) classify structures, things and the whole or a portion of a highway, and
(b) make different regulations for
(i) different zones established under a zoning bylaw, and
(ii) different classes of highways and portions of them.
552 A municipality may require a person using a highway or local government right of way to provide the municipality, if reasonably possible, with accurate plans and profiles of any of their works and facilities using the highway or right of way.
553 (1) If a municipal bylaw establishes
(a) taxes, fees or charges for the supply of water for irrigation, or
(b) other terms on which the service may be supplied or used,
the bylaw overrides the terms of any agreement respecting the carriage or supply of water for irrigation entered into by a company or other person from whom the municipality has acquired a water licence or works.
(2) An extension to a system for supplying water for irrigation must not be made for the purpose of supplying water to other land if the extension will prejudicially affect the prior rights of any parties to the use of the water intended to be conveyed and distributed by the extension.
554 (1) The authority under Division 2 [Parcel Taxes] of Part 10.1 [Taxes, Fees and Charges] for any of the following services on any portion of a highway, sidewalk or boulevard is subject to this section:
(a) cleaning or sweeping;
(b) clearing snow and ice;
(c) watering, oiling or tarring;
(e) supplying light in excess of that supplied at the expense of the municipality at large;
(f) cutting grass and weeds;
(g) trimming trees and shrubbery.
(2) A parcel tax for a service referred to in subsection (1) may be imposed
(a) only on the parcels of land that abut on the portion of the highway, sidewalk or boulevard, and
(b) only on the basis of taxable frontage.
(3) A council must not provide a service for which a parcel tax is to be imposed under this section unless
(a) a sufficient petition for the service has been received, or
(b) no sufficient petition against the service has been received within 30 days after the council gives public notice of intention to undertake the service.
(4) Division 1 [Local Improvements] of Part 19 applies for the purposes of subsection (3).
(5) Section 622 [municipal policy that works must be undertaken as local improvements] applies to subsection (1) and, for that purpose, a service referred to in subsection (1) is deemed to be a work that may be undertaken as a work of local improvement.
555 (1) The authority of a municipality under the following provisions is subject to the applicable provisions of the Water Act:
section 529 [works to protect highways from water damage];
section 541 [watercourse may be included in drainage system];
section 542 [requirements respecting drainage works];
section 543 [appropriation of stream channel or bed];
section 544 [control of drainage];
section 548 [intermunicipal watercourses];
section 549 [district municipality drainage works];
section 725.1 [protection of waterways].
(2) In addition, the following authorities of a municipality are subject to the applicable provisions of the Water Act:
(a) the authority to acquire, manage, extend and remove
(i) works to maintain the proper flow of water in a stream as defined in the Water Act, ditch, drain or sewer in the municipality,
(ii) dikes, or
(iii) works to reclaim or to protect part of the land mass of the municipality from erosion by action of the sea or a stream as defined in the Water Act, or any other cause;
(b) the authority to regulate a wharf, dock, warehouse or slip owned, held or managed by the municipality.
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