Langley Township is going to court to claim its money in a long-running bylaw dispute over a house that racked up dozens of tickets.
Bylaw manager Bill Storie said he wasn't sure of the exact number of bylaw infraction tickets issued to the man living on 68th Avenue west of 200th Street.
"He had numerous issues," said Storie. As with most bylaw investigations, the house came to light because of complaints by other residents, Storie said.
There were issues with unsightly and untidy premises, as well as problems with the building itself, Storie recalled.
Tickets can be given every day for the same violation, and in this case they were given repeatedly for the same infractions.
The problems cropped up a year ago, in a Willoughby slope neighbourhood that is mix of new single-family homes on small lots, and a handful of streets that still have widely spaced older homes on larger properties.
While the Township's bylaws department issued numerous tickets, the situation kept going and going.
Storie said the owner would clean up or resolve one issue, only for another to arise. Then an old issue that had been resolved would rear its head again.
Bylaw officers rarely got a chance to speak with the man living in the home, Storie said.
He knows of only a few times they spoke to him, including once near the end of the long series of tickets, within the last few months.
"It didn't seem to bother him," Storie said. He said another, similar house in the Township has been going through a very similar series of tickets without much effort on the part of the owner to clean up, and he said both residents seemed to have a similar attitude.
"They just don't seem to care," Storie said. The tickets for the Willoughby resident's house were sent to the Township's bylaw adjudication process. It allows people who've been ticketed to challenge the ruling without having to go to court and hire a laywer.
If someone does not respond to their tickets within 14 days, they can be fined, said Storie. In this case, the Township gave the man 28 days to respond, and didn't hear from him.
Now they're going to take him to small claims court for the total amount of the tickets.
The other option would have been turning the matter over to a collections agency, but Storie said getting a court judgement will allow the Township to recoup more of the total amount of fines.
The maximum amount B.C. Small Claims Courts can deal with is $25,000.
Storie said that, at least from an enforcement point of view, things seem to have calmed down. The property has been largely cleaned up and issues dealt with, and now there have been no tickets issued for some weeks.
@ Copyright 2013