The City of Edmonton’s Infill Compliance Team conducted 1,654 inspections in 2017, according to the City’s second annual report on infill construction site enforcement released on April 17.
“It is important that new construction is completed in an appropriate manner so that these sites and neighbourhoods remain safe,” said Lyla Peter, Director of Development and Zoning Services.
“Encouraging development in mature and established neighbourhoods helps make the best use of our existing infrastructure and creates more housing options for Edmontonians and their families.”
From the 1,654 inspections, the City identified 910 infill-related infractions and issued 547 verbal and written warnings, 354 tickets and nine stop orders. Infill-related construction infractions under the Traffic Bylaw were the most common, representing 60 percent of tickets issued. They included: obstructing the roadway or sidewalk; occupying the road right-of-way without a City permit; unauthorized crossing of the sidewalk or boulevard with a motorized vehicle; and, leaving material on the roadway or sidewalk.
Last year, April to December was especially busy for the compliance team, with 1,281 inspections occurring in that period. That figure represented a 130 percent increase over the same time period the year before. Citizen-generated complaints were prioritized.
The compliance team uses all inspections to promote ongoing dialogue with residents and builders, an approach endorsed by the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues and Infill Development of Edmonton Association.
“The team’s educational approach in dealing with all participants in the construction process can build a more welcoming environment for future residents,” said Peter.
To help reduce the number of Traffic Bylaw violations, the City is increasing efforts to educate builders and subcontractors on the various permits required when using the road right-of-way. Complaint, inspection and enforcement data will be used to develop new deployment strategies to better balance complaint-based and proactive inspections.
The team will also continue to work with community and industry associations to promote more awareness of regulations and good construction practices.
Created in 2016, the Infill Compliance Team has helped improve enforcement efforts by using a multidisciplinary approach in identifying and addressing infill construction challenges.
The City has also advanced actions through the first Infill Roadmap and citizen feedback to encourage positive infill development and good construction practices. Over the past year, the City has worked to develop a new set of infill actions to continue guiding positive infill development.
These actions are in the final phase of refinement. Next steps include integrating feedback received and preparing final drafts for review by City Council’s Urban Planning Committee.