Report to / Rapport au:
Comité des transports
and Council / et au Conseil
15 January 2010 / le 15 janvier 2010
City-wide/ à l'échelle de la Ville
File. No. ACS2010-CCS-TRC-0003
SUBJECT: AMENDMENT TO USE AND CARE OF ROADS BY-LAW RE NUISANCE ON CITY STREETS
OBJET: MODIFICATION AU RÈGLEMENT SUR L'UTILISATION ET L'ENTRETIEN DES ROUTES EN RAISON DE NUISANCES DANS LES RUES DE LA VILLE
That the Transportation Committee recommend that Council approve amendments to the Use and Care of Roads By-law (By-law 2003-498, as amended) to create new offences as follows:
1. No person shall engage in loud, boisterous, threatening, abusive, insulting or indecent language, or engage in any disorderly conduct or behaviour on a highway; and
2. No person shall engage in any activity so as to interfere with or become a nuisance to the general public using the highway or to adjacent property owners.
Que le Comité des transports recommande au Conseil d’approuver les modifications au Règlement sur l'utilisation et l'entretien des routes (Règlement n° 498-2003, tel que modifié) visant à établir les nouvelles infractions suivantes :
1. Nul ne peut crier ou utiliser un langage excessif, menaçant, violent, insultant ou indécent, ni adopter une conduite ou un comportement répréhensible sur une voie publique;
2. Nul ne peut agir de façon à nuire ou à porter atteinte aux utilisateurs d’une voie publique ou aux propriétaires d’un bienfonds adjacent.
The proposed by-law amendments address the issue of nuisance behaviours that are occurring when groups of persons congregate in the roadway and on sidewalks and cause a disturbance, particularly when restaurants and bars close and groups of patrons leave the establishments. These disturbances have been noted, for example, both by property and business owners in the ByWard Market area as well as by the Ottawa Police Service. The proposed amendments will create useful enforcement tools both for the Ottawa Police Service and City enforcement staff to address these disturbances. Similar offences already exist with respect to the City’s parks, and therefore the proposed offences simply extend this wording to City streets and sidewalks.
The City’s Parks and Facilities By-law (By-law No. 2004-476) already prohibits the same behaviour in City parks and facilities and therefore this suggested amendment for City highways is a consistent approach to ensuring that properties in the City's ownership and under the City's control are free of nuisances.
Under the Use and Care of Roads By-law, a highway includes the travelled portion of the road as well as the sidewalk and therefore, these offences would be applicable to those areas. The motivation for this amendment is that representatives of the Ottawa Police Service have counselled that persons congregating on and engaging in boisterous activities and behaviours on City highways and sidewalks may pose a danger to pedestrian and vehicular traffic and may become a nuisance to members of the public, as well as to adjacent residents and business owners.
These new offences would assist in ensuring that those using City highways are free to do so without interference from nuisances, and that adjacent property owners are not affected by nuisances occurring on the highway. Section 128 of the Municipal Act, 2001 allows City Council to regulate with respect to public nuisances.
There has been consultation with Ottawa Police Service which supports the recommendation.
Emergency and Protective Services and Public Works participated in the development of and support the proposed amendments.
LEGAL/RISK MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS
There are no legal or risk management impediments to adopting the recommendations of this report.
There are no direct financial implications associated with the recommendation. The Ottawa Police Service will be the primary enforcers of the by-law provisions. Emergency and Protective Services’ By-law and Regulatory Services will enforce the by-law provisions as necessary, using existing resources.
Should this report be approved by Council, Legal Services and By-law and Regulatory Services staff will prepare the required by-law amendment for enactment by Council.