Town, LSD bylaws 'complicated': Town

Though many local service districts across the province have merged with existing municipalities, the question of who enforces bylaws remains up in the air.

At a recent Saint Andrews town council meeting, Coun. Mark Bennett, who represents Chamcook, said residents of the former local service district have been calling the town with concerns over the enforcement of rules which have been in place since before the town amalgamated with local service districts.

Town CAO Chris Spear said it's complicated.

The bylaw enforcement team can only enforce bylaws within the previous boundaries of Saint Andrews, he said, and various provincial departments remain responsible for enforcing rules in the former local service districts.

Bennett noted he and other residents recently received their property tax bills, with the town's logo on the heading.

"You can expect the comments and concerns are going to head to the town office," he said.

Anne Mooers, spokesperson for the department of local government and local governance reform, said local service districts don't have bylaws, but rather "planning, development and building rules, which are administered by the local government or the regional service commission."

A bylaw put in place during the local governance reform process says existing bylaws can only be enforced within the former boundaries of a municipality, meaning the "former unincorporated" areas of newly-formed municipalities are outside the town's enforcement jurisdiction, according to the bylaw put in place in Saint Andrews.

That will only change once the municipality reviews and adjusts every single existing bylaw to apply to its new boundaries, a process which can take months, town clerk Paul Nopper said.

The town has dozens of bylaws to update.

Some bylaws will be relatively straightforward, only requiring slight alterations to include the town's new boundaries.

But some more in-depth bylaws, like the zoning bylaw or municipal plan, will require significant public engagement and feedback, meaning the process could take months or even years.

"We're going through the process," Nopper said, "it will just take a long time."

Until the bylaws are adopted by the new municipality, "we have little enforcement measures," he said.

Marlo Glass, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal