Everywhere in our town the signs tell you that Henry Braun and the current Council do not enforce bylaws.  (See Correspondence below pictures.)

Dave Sidhu, editor of ‘The Patrika’ newspaper is running on the slate of ‘AbbotsfordFirst’.

So first you notice the flagrant disregard for sign by-laws.  Then in Dave’s paper you see disdain for zoning by-laws.  The Patrika has for years openly advertised the sale of homes that declare the existence of one or more ILLEGAL SUITES.

Clearly Dave Sidhu and his newspaper clients know that the word illegal has no meaning to Abbotsford’s Mayors and Councillors,……past and present.

Don’t expect Moe Gill to step up enforcement of the flagrant disdain shown in the proliferation of large houses designed to maximize the addition of illegal suites.  I recall that Moe came to the defence of one scofflaw on Majestic who’d been reported for adding a SECOND illegal addition, and Moe said, in effect, ‘Oh we should let the poor guy just finish the job now that he’d already started the work.’

So for me this has always been about having rules/laws that are fair, sensible, minimal, but then enforceable, and ENFORCED, across the board.   A level playing field where everyone is expected to play by the same rules.

There is great wealth to be made by scofflaws who are allowed to by-pass the rules that constrain the rest of society.  Abbotsford’s mayors and Councils have been shameful in their enabling of scofflaws.  People see, and respect for leadership and the rules that make for harmony in society begin to disintegrate.

Ah, but the predictable response has always been that “By-laws are complaint driven.”  That we have a mayor and 8 councillors and 1,000 or more well-paid City staff apparently places no burden on any of them to see what the rest of us cannot miss.  Anyway try reporting infractions.  It will depend entirely on who the scofflaw is, as to whether there will be any action taken.

This is a badly-run City.

For people who ask my advice on who to vote for, I am unequivocal in this,……Do not vote for anyone on the SLATE.  If five slate-mates get in they will automatically control all Council decisions on any matter of importance to them, or to the powers behind them.

The present Council has sat around Council table for too many years.  We don’t have nearly enough accountability and transparency.  Lack of by-law enforcement is one obvious reason to give new candidates a serious look.

THE ONLY SLATE ABBOTSFORD NEEDS IS A CLEAN SLATE.

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Gerda Peachey <gerdapeachey@gmail.com>

Fri, Jul 27, 9:58 AM

Reply

to bylawservices, Council

Hello Henry, and By-law department:

Thanks for your response.

The proliferation of free advertising on city land is not being done by people fresh off a boat from somewhere else.  These are smart business people who don’t care what your regulations are, unless that disregard begins to cost them.  As it is they are free to utilize high-visibility public land for free advertising.

So this:  The City’s general approach is to educate with the expectation for voluntary compliance.

does very little to deter scofflaws.  People who despise the rules are better educated when the profit of their actions becomes a liability.

Sending union-waged staff to pick up illegally placed signs, and then kindly storing these signs for scofflaws is an unnecessary expense to tax-payers and just encourages bad behaviour, so it’s good that,  staff will be exploring the merits of a “sign scoop” program that includes cost recovery for retrieval of signs that have been “scooped” or removed.

But don’t spend more time exploring the obvious answer.  Abbotsford looks junky and these businesses are fully aware of the rules.  So get them to pick up their own signs without delay and issue fines or pull their business licences if they continue to defy the by-laws.

Thanks again,

Gerda

On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 1:52 PM, Council Correspondence <CouncilCorrespondence@abbotsford.ca> wrote:

Good afternoon Gerda,

Thank you for taking the time to inquiry about signs that do not conform to City Bylaws. I have shared your correspondence with the City Manager, Peter Sparanese, and it has been forwarded to Bylaw Services for their attention.

Bylaw Services has noticed that there has been an apparent increase of illegally placed signs on City property.  When responding to calls for service regarding sign contraventions, Bylaw Services takes compliance action as warranted under the authority of 3 City bylaws: Election Sign Bylaw, 2015, Sign Bylaw, 2001, and Street and Traffic Bylaw, 2006. The City’s general approach is to educate with the expectation for voluntary compliance. Remedial action including removal of signs and other formal legal action (i.e. tickets) are a last resort. That said, Bylaw Services is consistent with responding to calls for service that have safety, impact and/or liability implications. In these cases, signs will be removed and stored at the City’s public works yard.

The City continues to explore proactive and innovative programs and internal processes in order to respond in an efficient and cost-effective manner to the many reported and observed neighborhood concerns regarding safety and quality of life. You will be interested in knowing that the City’s sign bylaw is currently under review.  I understand that staff will be exploring the merits of a “sign scoop” program that includes cost recovery for retrieval of signs that have been “scooped” or removed. We hope that initiatives such as these will create a more pleasant and welcoming urban environment.

If you do want to report specific concerns, please feel free to contact Bylaw Services. Our new city app allows you to report problems right from your phone; you can download the app at: https://www.abbotsford.ca/feedback/at_abbotsford_mobile_app.htm.

You can also email directly at bylawservices@abbotsford.ca or fill out the form at the following link: https://www.abbotsford.ca/city_hall/bylaws/bylaw_service_request.htm.

Thank you again for your inquiry, Gerda.

Kind Regards,

Henry

Henry Braun

Mayor

Tel: 604.864.5500 Fax: 604.853.1934

Email: mayorbraun@abbotsford.ca

From: Gerda Peachey <gerdapeachey@gmail.com>
Date: July 21, 2018 at 8:00:50 PM PDT
To: Henry Braun <hbraun@abbotsford.ca>
Subject: Fwd: Abbotsford’s Consolidated Sign Bylaw

Hello Henry:    I’m only sending this to you, as I hope to see a positive change on this blatant misuse of public lands.   And perhaps, this really is allowed, and I’m just not comprehending all the details on the web page.

Several times I’ve asked the City about the clutter of signs around Abbotsford, and to their credit, the signs are removed.  But does this mean that random advertising falls under the same caveat of  enforcement is only done under “complaint driven”?

I’m sending you a few photos of signs that frequent this area, but I see such infractions all over town.  But I also see lots of City vehicles driving around, and question why City staff are not instructed to take seriously all matters that pertain to a well-run, clean and law-abiding City?

In other words, we have some 1,000 City employees, who should see this as their City, to work for in every aspect of obvious details pertaining to our collective well-being.

So please correct me if I am not understanding the regulations.

Thanks,   Gerda

From the web-site:

Real Estate Signs

  1. (a)  Not more than one Real Estate Sign per parcel of land may be Displayed. The Real Estate Sign may have two Faces, and may also be constructed in such a manner that one Face is at not more than a 90° angle to the adjacent Face. Real Estate Signs may only be Displayed in the Zones listed in Schedule “A”, attached to, and forming part of, this by-law.
  2. (b)  Real Estate Signs shall be constructed in such a manner that they are not a hazard to persons or property.
  3. (c)  Real Estate Signs shall not occupy space allocated for parking.
  1. (8)  Real Estate Directional Signs
    1. (a)  Real Estate Directional Signs may be used in all Zones, and may have two Faces, the area of each Face not to exceed 0.2 m2.
    2. (b)  Real Estate Directional Signs shall not be placed on City or Provincial Highway rights-of-way

https://www.abbotsford.ca/business_and_development/sign_permits.htm

In general, commercial signs on roadways are prohibited. Many commercial signs (even on their own properties) require City permission.

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