The Village of Pemberton has passed some stringent new rules around animal control.
Council passed at a meeting on March 14 Animal Control Bylaw 651, 2010, legislation that places a greater duty of care on the part of pet owners than they did before.
Among other things, the bylaw stipulates that when an Enforcement Officer or Peace Officer gets a complaint that a dog is permitted to be at large within the Village, the dog is considered a nuisance and the owner can be fined $50.
Other regulations concern impoundment. Any person can seize a dog found at large and can deliver it to the pound. Owners cannot allow their dogs to enter school playing fields or any other public spaces that have signage posted at anytime, but dogs are allowed off-leash while in the designated area on the northeast corner of One Mile Lake.
"The whole rationale for the bylaw was to give our bylaw enforcement officer the actual authority to do what he's been assigned to do," said Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy. "It would provide a comprehensive bylaw based on recommendations from the SPCA, because they've been out there lobbying everyone to get these animal control bylaws."
Educational use approved
Pemberton council also gave first reading to a bylaw that will allow an educational use designation in its Official Community Plan, a move that could allow the Village to properly zone for an independent private school slated for a property that's subject to a boundary expansion.
The property, owned by Cam McIvor, is known as Ravens Crest and it currently lies within Area C of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District. It's also the subject of an application for expansion that's currently with the province and awaiting an order-in-council by the provincial cabinet, the final hurdle on the way to expanding the Village's boundaries.
Once that happens, Village council will have the authority to decide whether an independent private school associated with the GEMS corporation can be situated there and it will pay taxes into the municipality, rather than the province, where taxes on properties in the regional district currently go.
The expansion has been a source of rancour between the Village and the regional district, with the latter worried about the financial impact that the expansion would have on its own revenues.
Sturdy, a headlong proponent of the expansion, said there's a proposal for a one-time transition fee to help ease the financial burden on the regional district that will inevitably result from losing properties from within its oversight.
Council increases educational bursary
Pemberton council also approved increasing an educational bursary for high school students from $1,000 to $2,000.
Councillor Ted Craddock put the motion forward, arguing that the Village ought to contribute an amount that will actually make a difference on an estimated $15,000 to $20,000 annual cost for going to university.
High school students in Pemberton wanting to do post-secondary education will inevitably have to go school somewhere else and pay for tuition, books and room and board.