Bylaw changes still in the works

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Major revisions of some key town bylaws are still in the works, council heard at a recent meeting.

The status of the revisions was a topic of discussion during Davidson town council’s regular meeting on Oct. 17.

Coun. Arlene Low expressed some concern regarding a lack of regular formal updates on the bylaws and other matters.

She said she finds it frustrating how council will request action or discuss a topic at one meeting, and “then they’re never brought up again.”

In May, council requested that town staff prepare a draft of a business licensing bylaw, to target businesses that operate in town but whose owners do not currently pay commercial property taxes.

The current business licensing bylaw was approved in 1981 and remains on the books, though it has not been updated or enforced in decades.

Regarding the new bylaw, Mayor Tyler Alexander said at October’s meeting, “It’s something that we’re looking at putting in for next year, so we’ve got time yet.”

In March, council agreed to form a committee to oversee the Davidson cemetery, and to replace the existing bylaw, which dates back to 1951 and was last updated in 1979. The committee was formed, but council has yet to see a draft of a revised bylaw.

Following a pair of dog bite incidents in August and September, council also agreed to a recommendation from town staff that the animal control bylaw be reviewed.

In that case, the aim was to expedite the process of dealing with animals deemed dangerous, by eliminating the step of holding a hearing.

Within the last year, council has also requested a revision of the fire bylaw, with co-operation from local fire officials.

Assistant administrator Donna Bessey told the Leader last week that she is gradually working on the bylaw revisions as time allows, juggling that with her other responsibilities.

“They’re all important,” she said. “I’m doing the best that I can.”

Sometimes, Bessey said, council provides only limited details in regards to the changes they want to see, which delays the process.

Coun. Todd Lockwood said last week that better communication between council and staff would help the process along.

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