The proposed public places bylaw for the Village of Queen Charlotte has been scrapped.
The lengthy bylaw had over 40 provisions covering activities that could endanger the public or environment in a public place.
During a special Committee of the Whole meeting on March 16, council conceded to public concern over the bylaw, vowing to find another avenue to ease the village’s worry about liability.
“The public did see the public places bylaw as being too bureaucratic and too overreaching,” Mayor Greg Martin told council.
Following several open conversations with councillors, Martin added, “I would prefer to see a simpler document, I would like to see a policy.”
The bylaw was proposed after a large youth party at Hayden Turner Park last summer, to which police, paramedics and the fire department were called for a number of concerns.
Given that the park was gifted to the village, the area did not have a policy or fall under any standing bylaws.
Village staff started working on the bylaw last summer and presented it to council for the first reading in December.
Council decided to host a community input session, which saw a large turnout where staff came under fire for ‘overreaching their jurisdiction’ when it became apparent that many provisions in the bylaw were already covered by the Criminal Code or other pieces of legislation.
Council unanimously agreed to scrap the proposed bylaw and move towards a policy that will be written and proposed to council at a later date.
“This is just to give some structure and rules of what you can and cannot do in a public place that is owned and operated by the municipality. A lot of it has to do about our liability and making sure that people are respecting the public places that belong to all of us,” said Lori Wiedeman, chief administrative officer for the village.