A report for proactive by-law enforcement in Windsor is expected to come to council before the end of this year. Ward 4 Councillor Mark McKenzie asked administration during the July 10th 2023 meeting of council for a feasibility report on having bylaw enforcement officers conducting regular inspections of the city's paved alleyways. The bylaw enforcement officers would be focused on looking for a range of issues such as potholes, over grown trees, garbage, graffiti, dumping and even encampments.
McKenzie says most of the problems are only addressed once a complaint is issued and he would like to have "more eyes" on the alleys to provide another way to address any issues.
According to Craig Robertson, the city's senior licensing and enforcement manager, the summer season sees an increase in the number of complaints submitted to 311. "When it comes to garbage preparation, we've looked at our bylaw enforcement resources and how we currently provide those services across the public," said Robertson. "We recognize there may be a need to look at how those resources are deployed across the city and the wards, based on 311 data and complaints that come in."
While residents are asked to call 311 to arrange the removal of large furniture, Robertson said various factors such as summer staff vacations and increased social issues — including abandoned encampments and alley scavenging — have resulted in a backlog of complaints. The result, in some cases, is large furniture remaining on Windsor's streets for weeks — and even months — on end. "So that's become a challenge and a resource issue," said Robertson.
Robertson says he will bring options to council before the end of the year, and if approved implementation could occur as soon as Spring 2024. Those options, McKenzie said, include more investment and a move toward proactive bylaw enforcement. Currently, enforcement of bylaws is complaint-based.
"Leamington has had proactive bylaw enforcement for a while now. It's gone so well that they now have bylaw enforcement on bikes in the spring and summer," said McKenzie. "So they actually go up and down the streets and talk to the residents. It's more of an educational piece." McKenzie said he would like to see the City of Windsor replicate a similar model.