Bylaw Enforcement and Animal Control
Bylaw Enforcement is to promote, facilitate and enforce general compliance with bylaws that pertain to the health, safety and welfare of the community. The goal of bylaw enforcement is not to penalize but to achieve compliance through education in order to preserve the quality of life enjoyed by the citizens of Smithers.
The Bylaw Enforcement Officer investigates written complaints received from the public about alleged violations of various municipal bylaws. These regulations may include such things as:
- Property conditions (i.e. graffiti, unsightly premises, nuisance and noise);
- Animal control and licensing;
- Signs (i.e. unauthorized placement/construction);
- Business Licensing and Zoning;
- Parking and snow removal.
While there are certain areas of enforcement that are safety related and require proactive enforcement, the majority of bylaws are enforced on a complaint basis. This ensures that the Town is serving the needs of the community and that the complaints received are of high importance.
How to Make a Complaint
To make a complaint regarding a violation of regulations contained in one of these bylaws, the Town requires the complainant to provide the following information:
- Name, address and phone number of the complainant;
- Relationship to the property or individual subject to the complaint;
- Location of the property and description of the issue.
Complaints are received in various ways:
- Online (request for service)
- By phone (250-847-1600) or fax (250-847-1601)
- In person at the Town Office (Monday to Friday 8:30-4:30) at 1027 Aldous Street
Should the complainant refuse to provide the above information, no action may be taken by the Town to investigate the complaint. Complainant information is considered as confidential and will not be released to the person whose property is under complaint, unless under an order made by the Provincial Freedom of Information Commissioner.
After a written complaint is submitted, the Bylaw Enforcement Officer may wish to call and confirm information, or ask further questions regarding the issue.
Dog Licensing & Control
All dogs over 4 months of age in the Town of Smithers are required to be licensed. Licenses assist in identifying a dog should it be lost, impounded, injured, etc. In addition, the license database allows the Town of Smithers to identify potentially dangerous or aggressive dogs.
Dog licenses can be purchased at the Town of Smithers Office (1027 Aldous Street) and expire on December 31st of each year. License fees are as follows:
- $15 for a spayed or neutered dog (certificate signed by a veterinarian required).
- $50 for a dog that is NOT spayed or neutered.
- $150 for an aggressive dog.
- $300 for a dangerous dog.
Dog owners are responsible for complying with the Bylaw No. 1780 Animal Control and Licencing, which specifies basic dog care standards and owner responsibilities. Examples include:
- Providing basic food, water, shelter, sanitation and health;
- Proper care of aggressive or dangerous dogs;
- Leashing when in public and maintaining control of the dog at all times;
- Cleaning up after the dog.
The Bylaw No. 1780 Animal Control and Licencing, outlines fees for noncompliance. Typically this includes impoundment fees, dogs not on a leash or running at large, owner's failing to clean up after their dog and poor care/sanitation conditions.
Backyard Hen Keeping:
On December 8th, 2015, the Town of Smithers Council approved a bylaw to permit the keeping of up to 6 Backyard Hens for domestic purpose as an auxiliary use to a detached, single-family dwelling on any lot greater than 550m2 (5,920 ft2) and zoned R-1, R-2, R-6, R-7, A-1 and P-1 Zones. There are a number of regulations that property owners must follow including the registration of your Backyard Hen Flock for a $15 fee. The following links will provide you with more information regarding Backyard Hen Keeping in Smithers:
- Your Guide to Backyard Hen Keeping. A guide and checklist to help you understand the Town’s regulations and Bylaws.
- Hen Flock Registration Form.
- Web Resources when considering the Backyard Hen Keeping in Smithers.