Community Bylaws and Business Licencing is responsible for the application and enforcement of bylaws related to parking, noise, zoning, short-term rental regulation, soil regulation and business and residential property use. It also adjudicates and issues the City’s business licences and plays a role in Provincial licencing related to liquor. Animal Protection Services focusses on the City's Animal related bylaws and is responsible for the dog licencing program and managing the City's contract with the BC SPCA for animal sheltering and enforcement services.
City of Richmond’s primary community safety providers are Fire-Rescue, RCMP, Emergency Programs and Community Bylaws. Community safety services are delivered using a partnership and team-based-model. This integrated team approach to service delivery improves direct communication and maximizes opportunities to work closely together through joint programs and services.
The Community Safety Committee of City Council is the venue where safety providers respond directly to Council on community safety issues.
A link is maintained to other stakeholders involved in delivering services though Richmond's Safe Communities Alliance.
The R.C.M.P. Richmond Detachment assists in the setting of policy regarding policing for the City, in consultation with City Council, senior staff and community consultation groups. The City sets policing budgets and priorities regarding the policing services for the City. In addition, the City provides the necessary buildings and administrative support staffing.
The R.C.M.P. provides the following services: law enforcement, crime prevention programs, victim services, youth section, and a youth intervention program.
PreventionFocuses on community risk and supports safety and effective emergency response. They:
- Conduct fire inspections and enforce regulations.
- Conduct fire investigations for cause.
- Review permits and plans for regulatory safety compliance.
- Provide fire and life safety information.
Focuses on injury reduction, loss of life prevention and encourages everyone to take responsibility for their own safety. Education is based on community risk, emerging needs, and the diverse needs of Richmond. They:
- Coordinate the delivery of community-based fire and life safety educational information and programs.
- Connect with the community to facilitate mutual understanding, community needs and to build relationships.
Emergency ResponseFocuses on emergency fire or rescue 9-1-1 call response to avoid or limit the loss of life, property, or business. They:
- Deliver continuous emergency 9-1-1 fire and rescue services.
- Conduct fire safety drills.
- Conduct fire and home safety inspections.
- Deliver safety information and programs.
- Train and drill to maintain skills.
- Test apparatus and equipment to maintain emergency readiness.
- Examine service delivery and conducts pre-emergency planning.
Our programs are managed and/or supported by our staff in administration, training, emergency equipment and vehicle maintenance units.
The Emergency Programs key initiatives include:
- Oversees emergency planning activities, including program planning, development and implementation.
- Ensures the Emergency Plan identifies the specific actions, roles and responsibilities to be carried out in the event of an emergency or disaster as well as identify response priorities and recovery strategies.
- Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) - In the event of an emergency the City will activate its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). The EOC is a facility where key City personnel and other response agencies gather to co-ordinate resources needed to respond to emergency situations.
- Regional Emergency Co-ordination Centre - The City is also a participating member of the RECC or the Regional Emergency Co-ordination Centre which is located at the ECOMM building in Vancouver. The purpose of the RECC is to enhance emergency response measures by bringing various municipalities and utility companies together allowing them to share information and resources.
Training and Exercise
- Co-ordinates the training and exercise to provide regular training to staff and volunteers who have designated emergency response roles in the Emergency Plan.
- Provides the public with on-going education with respect to overall emergency preparedness through presentations, demonstrations and promotional material.
- Reviews how we will communicate with the community in the event of a disaster.
Emergency Social Services
- Ensures the current Emergency Social Services Plan addresses the provision of services to evacuees, including temporary food, shelter, clothing, counselling and other personal services. The plan will also include details of facilities to assist staff and volunteers in the establishment of reception centres or emergency shelters.
- Provides Personal Disaster Assistance to support individuals who are displaced from their homes due to fire or other emergency situations. If support for the family is not immediately available through family, friends or insurance, Personal Disaster Assistance may provide accommodation, food, clothing and other necessities for up to three days following the disaster.
Resource and Communications Program
- Maintains the listing of resources and communications available throughout the community and the associated costs/agreements. This initiative also includes a review of the communication methods to be used in the event of an emergency and recommendations concerning alternatives that are available.
Departmental Emergency Planning
- Reviews Departmental Emergency Plans to identify how priority services will be restored and what main services will be provided.
Business Continuity Planning
- Ensures the Business Continuity Plan identifies the risk assessment, business impact, recovery strategy, business continuity and implementation procedures for ensuring that key city services are maintained after an emergency or disaster.
Animal Protection Services
In addition, this department liaises with the City’s contracted - Animal Services provider, BC SPCA. The BC SPCA provides a full-range of animal services including operating Richmond’s animal shelter, enforcing Richmond’s animal regulation bylaws, and patrolling of parks and school grounds.
Further, this department also oversees Community Bylaw contracts related to City owned parking meters and vehicle towing on public property, in addition to adjudicating animal–related tickets.
The role of the Community Bylaws Department is to lead, assist, or partner with other agencies to ensure that the City's various bylaws are complied with for the overall safety of the community.
Community Bylaws staff investigate complaints regarding alleged bylaw infractions, liaise with those found to be in non-compliance, and work with residents and/or businesses impacted by such issues to attain voluntary compliance. The City’s approach to bylaw enforcement is progressive in nature with the objective of obtaining regulatory compliance through education, mediation, progressive enforcement, and prosecution should issues of non-compliance not be addressed in a timely manner.
Bylaw Liaison Officers address issues such as: Unsightly Premises; Zoning (Land Use); Building and Vehicle for hire (towing); and Short Term Rentals. Officers also address Water Sprinkling Regulations during the summer. Tow permits for private parking lot are processed by this group. In addition, the City’s Soil Bylaw Officer addresses issues related to soil deposition and removal for all lands in the City.
The Parking section's purpose is to enhance the City's safety and reduce liability risks through the enforcement of the City’s parking and traffic related bylaws.
Bylaw Liaison Officers address non-moving traffic violations on City streets and lands. Officers address double parking; road obstruction; fire hydrant obstruction; parking by yellow curbs; driveway encroachment; parking in no stopping zones on major arterials and fire lanes; crosswalk encroachment; blocked sidewalks; parking facing traffic; construction zones; unlicensed vehicles; abandoned vehicle removal; unattached trailers; and unauthorized parking in public handicapped stalls. Officers also assist the public by providing directions to those who are lost; and offer assistance to those whose vehicle may have broken down.
- issuance and renewal of business licences and commercial vehicle decals
- investigation of unlicensed businesses and adjudicate suspension of licences when Business Licence Bylaw violations occur
- administering the Vehicle for Hire Bylaw, which includes taxis, tour buses and car rental agencies
- regulating all liquor licences in the City and participating in joint inspection programs with the RCMP and Liquor Control and Licensing Branch