Community Standards Bylaw

The Community Standards Bylaw (CSB) is an important tool for ensuring a safe, healthy and inviting community. The CSB was passed by Spruce Grove City Council on May 27, 2024, and will go into effect on July 1, 2024.

The purpose of the CSB is to be a "one-stop shop" to find important information on community standards. It will serve to enable and regulate activities that relate to the safety, health and welfare of residents, businesses, community organizations, building developers, commercial property owners, and utility companies on private and public property.

More details will be shared in the coming weeks, prior to the CSB going into effect on July 1, but here is a summary of what the CSB and related amendments to other bylaws include:

Topic Summary
Alcohol consumption in public parks Pilot program for public consumption of alcohol in a designated area in Jubilee Park starting on July 2.
Boulevard gardens and driveway extensions Introduction of new permit programs for boulevard gardens and driveway extensions.
Camping Camping on private property will be limited to seven consecutive days or 21 days per year.
Causing a disturbance Updated standards as to what is considered "causing a disturbance."
Construction waste and building materials • Updated standards on storage, accumulation and disposal of construction materials.
• Construction must not block or prevent access to sidewalks and driveways.
Decibel limits New noise limits for daytime, overnight, residential and non-residential settings.
Enforcement approach
• Streamlined fines system.
• Creation of a committee to hear appeals on community standards matters.
Graffiti abatement • Graffiti is not permitted.
• New requirement to remove graffiti from a property within a specified time period.
More information about graffiti
Landscape obstructions Trees and other vegetation may not block an alley or sidewalk.
Nuisance and unsightly properties Clearer standards around what is considered a nuisance, unsightly or untidy.
Odours and emissions  • Excessive odours and emissions that are likely to disturb others are not permitted.
• New criteria for determining what kinds of odours and emissions are likely to disturb others.
Panhandling Not permitted within the City of Spruce Grove.
Recreational vehicles (RVs) • Expanded annual parking dates for RVs and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) on private, residential property.
• For example, RVs such as motor homes and campers can now park from April 15 to November 30, snowmobiles on trailers from November 15 to April 15 and ATVs, such as quads and dirt bikes on trailers can now park year-round.
Urination/defecation Not permitted in a public place or on private property except in a restroom.
Vegetation • Naturalized yards will be allowed.
• Trees and other vegetation cannot grow onto neighbouring properties.

 

The CSB replaces four existing bylaws that have been repealed: Construction Site Cleanliness Bylaw, Consumption of Cannabis in a Public Place Bylaw, Noise Control Bylaw and Nuisances, Unsightly and Untidy Property Bylaw.

The Open Space Area Bylaw, Traffic Bylaw and Land Use Bylaw were updated to align with or add new community standards.

Frequently asked questions

The Community Standards Bylaw is a new bylaw in Spruce Grove that outlines behaviours and expectations of residents and businesses in the community on private and public land. It defines standards related to public behaviour, property maintenance, neighbour relations, noise control and excessive odours.

The CSB comes into effect on July 1, 2024.

City Council had set a goal in their 2022-2025 Strategic Plan to review bylaws to differentiate definitions of unkempt properties from land use standards that provide opportunities for eco-landscaping (Strategic Plan Action 6.b.3). Information on community standards were found to be distributed throughout several different bylaws. The CSB was developed to be a "one-stop shop" to find information on community standards without having to consult multiple bylaws.

Administration started by researching the most commonly addressed topics in community standards bylaws in 18 other municipalities in Alberta. Then, in the spring and summer of 2023, the City conducted a survey to gather views from residents and businesses on expected behaviours and norms for various community standards, which received over 1,200 responses. City staff and Council attended community events, committee meetings and held information sessions to raise awareness and encourage participation in the survey. Based on this public feedback, the CSB was developed. Work was also done to update and repeal existing legislation to align with the new standards.

The overarching goal with enforcement of any City bylaw is to achieve compliance. The first and most effective tools enforcement officers use are education and awareness. At the same time, officers have the ability, at their discretion, to use other tools up to and including orders and/or fines. The CSB provides greater tools and clearer expectations to better address community standards matters.

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