PARCS UPDATE #158: Aug.19, 2001 -
An OH is asking their RM to pass a BYLAW
Earlier this month PARCS had a phone call from the chair of the OH of Parkview in the RM of Marquis. The chair explained that his OH Board wanted to voluteer to clean up some crown land along the lakeshore that had formerly been part of a provincial park but now was under RM jurisdiction. The OH Board Chair reported that the property was littered with old wrecked boats and other hazardous junk.
He reported that the RM Council was reluctant to pass such a bylaw, wondering if other RMs had bylaws addressing what was allowed on crown lands. Certainly, this type of regulation about forbidden and permitted activity on reserve crown lands typically would be part of the RM's Zoning Bylaws.
Certainly many Resort Villages have Zoning BYLAWS
If you open the PARCS WEBSITE (click on the PARCS logo at the top of the newsletter to go to out website) and travel to RESOURCE DOCUMENTS on the bottom of the website front page, it will take you to a list containing RESOURCE VILLAGE WEBSITES which is a summary chart of the 41 Resort Villages and their websites (published last year). You will note that 19 RVs stated that they had Zoning bylaws. [33 RVs have web sites with their addresses listed on the chart.] Their Official Community Plan describes the vision for the community which is laid out in the accompanying ZONING BYLAWS. (You can click on either the phrase or on the link to visit this summary of resort village websites and bylaws.)

Why BYLAWS are so important
Good governance happens when councils sit down to carefully craft the rules that will govern each of part of their community (whether that be a RV or an RM). Bylaws describe what should and should not be happening in each part of the communty:
  • How they operate; when they have meetings,
  • Their committees and their portfolios,
  • How they deal with delegations, feedback and concerns,
  • Their Code of Ethics for Councillors,
  • How they deal with privacy issues,
Regarding Council and THEIR EMPLOYEES:
  • Their Employee Code of Conduct
  • Their harassment policy
  • Fire protection
  • Emergency measures
  • Garbage collection
  • Garbage disposal and Landfill Operation
  • Website services
  • Snow removal
  • Website and newsletter information
  • Their use of public grounds and buildings
  • Their use of the common areas, green spaces, beach. and boat launch area
  • Their use of roads and parking areas (speed limits, parking, etc.)
  • Their handling of pets
  • The number of campers that can be parked on a residential site
  • Their use of non-licensed motorized vehicles
  • Special events, emergency preparedness, and safety
Why not just write POLICIES instead?
There are a number of areas where the Municipalities Act REQUIRES that the resort village or RM have a bylaw, such as: taxation, making agreements with other communities, borrowing, elections (including absentee voting), building bylaws, council remuneration, speed limits, etc. etc.
Certainly, there are also many aspects of community operation where a Council can choose to have a POLICY rather than BYLAW. Policies describe areas where a Council prefers to have things happen a certain way but also recognizes that it may not always happen that say. A Council would likely have a policy about:
  • How many Newsletters the administrator sends out each year,
  • How employees are recognized for the work that they do,
  • How Council support the work done by community volunteers, etc.
Policies are more often enforced by a reminder letter from the administrator, while bylaw breaches often involve the levying of a penalty or a fine. On the top of the PARCS WEBSITE, the title POLICIES takes you to a group of 53 sample policies published with the agreement of some of our resort villages.
We offer sample policies - who not sample bylaws?
Plans are being made to develop a set of SAMPLE BYLAWS. These would be samples of the the non-compulsory Bylaws. We are inviting each of our resort village members to make a submission. Letters are going out shortly to these resort village members. We are planning to assemble the submissions into a booklet for sharing with the contributors and for highlighting at our fall convention (more information to follow).