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Bylaw seems to be working

In late March of 2013, city council embraced one part of a proposed public nuisance bylaw. This while turning aside other parts of the bylaw that had been widely criticized – by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, local media and others. A year later, it seems council made a wise decision to focus on the very real problem of so-called nuisance parties.
The first report from city staff about how the nuisance party bylaw has worked out suggests it has been effective. In conjunction with charges and warnings under other city bylaws, warnings of “further enforcement” under the nuisance party bylaw have been “effective in addressing unwanted behaviour and dispersing nuisance parties,” the staff  report.
Before, enforcement officers lacked the power to shut down nuisance parties. Now they can.
The nuisance party bylaw gives police and city bylaw officers the ability to issue charges to homeowners, tenants and people attending nuisance parties. It gives enforcement staff the power to disperse such parties and, if necessary, to close roads and prohibit entry to people who don’t live at the residence where the party is happening. It allows the party host or property owner to be billed for the cost of enforcement measures, such as the cost of closing roads to prevent further access to the party.
So far, the new staff report says, no roads have had to be closed and no charges have had to be laid under the nuisance party bylaw. Simply warning people that there could be further enforcement through the nuisance party bylaw has sufficed, it says.
Dealing with issues related to off-campus student housing and its effects on some of Guelph’s neighbourhoods has been a big issue for council in recent years. Zoning bylaw changes didn’t work out, and the city is still wrestling with licensing of rental properties.
However, it appears council has scored a hit with the nuisance party bylaw, and many local residents are no doubt glad to hear that.

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