Burning complaints in Spallumcheen declined in 2011.
And bylaw enforcement officer Leanne Robertson believes proactive enforcement of regulations, education and inspections played a part in bringing the complaints down.
“Illegal burning still took place outside the required time frame and without permits,” said Robertson, who delivered her year-end report to Spallumcheen council Monday. “There were, however, numerous residents who followed proper process and applied for permits (approximately 150).”
Open burning in the township commences Oct. 1 annually, and continues to April 15 the following year. There is a brief permit period from April 16 to May 15 if weather conditions allow. There is absolutely no open burning except on properly contained fire pits for cooking purposes only as of May 16.
Residents in the R1 and R5 (residential zones including modular home communities) require a permit throughout the open burning season, and will no longer be able to open burn in any circumstance as of Jan. 1, 2013.
Business was also up slightly in the township in 2011 as Robertson, who doubles as Spall’s business licence inspector, stated there were 296 renewals and 33 new applications in 2011.
“The comparison to 2010 is very similar,” said Robertson. “There were 308 renewals and 32 new businesses.”
Businesses have until the end of January to renew their licence.
Robertson said her hours for bylaw enforcement in 2011 decreased.
“One reason may include the advertising, education and ticketing,” she said.
The education component implemented for burning contraventions was positive, and Robertson spent less time attending sites.
There were no proactive inspections for burning complaints.
“The positive to this is past education and enforcement has encouraged residents to adhere to the burning regulations,” said Robertson. “There were minimal environmental concerns which are very time consuming.”