By-law and Regulatory Services within the Emergency and Protective Services department is responsible for the administration and enforcement of more than 50 municipal by-laws and provincial acts within the City of Ottawa addressing a wide range of municipal issues. This report provides an overview of By-law and Regulatory Services activities and presents the most recent performance metrics from 2019 and 2020.
Overall, the bylaw and regulatory services department has 181 full-time positions. That includes 63 enforcement officers who respond to calls seven days a week, along with other staff who administer such services as pet registrations and taxi licences.
Level of Service Provided by By-law and Regulatory Services
The work of By-law and Regulatory Services falls into three broad categories:
- Service requests which are assigned a priority level based on call type
- Service requests which are prioritized and dispatched based upon the details and context of the call
- Work activities that do not have a related service request created in the software system MAP
Approximately 60 per cent of the service requests received are assigned a priority level based on call type. Service requests (excluding parking calls) are categorized as Priority 1, 2 or 3 calls. The priority of the call is based on the immediate safety risk associated with the concern being reported.
The remaining 40 per cent of service requests are not assigned a priority level up-front. The largest group of these are parking related. These are not assigned a predetermined priority level upon receipt, but rather, each is assigned by BLRS dispatchers based on the specifics of the call, such as a blocked fire lane for example, which would be a high priority call and dispatched immediately.
As outlined in the By-law and Regulatory Services Service Review, By-law and Regulatory Services has established service standards related to service request and the priority of the calls. The service standards are:
- For Priority 1 calls, By-law and Regulatory Services will respond within 24 hours, 80 per cent of the time.
- For Priority 2 calls, By-law and Regulatory Services will respond within 48 hours, 80 per cent of the time.
- For Priority 3 calls, By-law and Regulatory Services will respond within 96 hours, 80 per cent of the time.
By-law Enforcement Branch
This branch is responsible for general by-law enforcement, and consists of 63 officers, providing city-wide service coverage seven days a week. By-law Enforcement operates from 6 am until 2 am, with extended hours until 4 am on Saturday and Sunday. This branch is responsible for enforcement related to:
- Animal Care and Control, including domestic animal and wildlife transport.
- Parks and Facilities.
- Property Standards and Maintenance.
This branch also has a dedicated Property Standards Team for property standards and maintenance and zoning issues.
Licensing Administration and Enforcement Branch
The Licensing Administration and Enforcement Branch is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Licensing By-law and consists of 22 staff overseeing 34 business licensing categories.
In addition, this branch oversees other significant regulations and programs including:
- The Vehicle-for-Hire By-law (taxis, limousines, private transportation companies).
- Pet Registration.
- Temporary signs.
- Business Ambassador Program.
- Enforcement of the provincial and municipal smoke-free regulations.
- Administration of lotteries on behalf of the Province
Operational Support and Regulatory Services Branch
This branch, consisting of 14 full-time and 8 part-time staff, is responsible for functions that support other By-law and Regulatory Services activities, such as dispatch of service requests, and the coordination and administration of various City programs including:
- Animal Control Tribunal and Property Standards and License Appeals Committee.
- Dogs-in-parks and fire route designations.
- The Municipal Animal Shelter Services Agreement with the Ottawa Humane Society.
- The Private Parking Enforcement Agency agreements.
- Noise exemptions.
- The Spay/Neuter Clinic.
Parking Enforcement and Logistics Branch
This branch is mandated to facilitate city-wide traffic management pursuant to the Traffic and Parking By-law. Comprised of 42 full-time and 29 part-time staff, the Parking Enforcement team responds to service requests initiated by residents and conducts proactive patrols to ensure traffic flow, pedestrian and vehicular safety, and turnover for businesses.