Bylaw Enforcement

The Bylaw Enforcement department, which falls under the umbrella of Corporate Services, enforces regulatory bylaws in the City in order to provide a safe and healthy environment for all.

The goal of the Bylaw Enforcement Department is not to penalize the citizens of Duncan or visitors to our City but to resolve complaints through education and voluntary compliance in order to preserve the quality of life to which each citizen is entitled.

In situations where voluntary compliance is not achieved, particularly where the non-compliant behavior is willful, repetitive, harmful to public health or safety, harmful to City infrastructure or harmful to the environment, the City’s Bylaw Officers will likely employ one or more enforcement tools to gain compliance with the City’s regulatory requirements. These tools can include written warnings, municipal tickets (parking tickets can be paid online), orders, administrative sanctions, prosecutions and injunctions. Please see the City’s Bylaw Enforcement Policy for more information on complaints, investigation and enforcement proceedings.

Common examples of issues that are regulated by City bylaws include, but are not exclusive to, the following:

  • Excessive Noise
  • Illegal disposal of litter or garbage
  • Obstructions of streets or sidewalks
  • Parking
  • Property conditions, including graffiti
  • Smoking
  • Snow/Ice removal

View the most frequently accessed City Bylaws here. The contents of these online bylaws are for information and reference purposes only, and are not to be relied on as the complete or official versions of the City of Duncan’s bylaws. For official transcripts of the bylaws, please contact the the Corporate Services Department at or phone 250-746-6126.

The Canadian Mental Health Association of Cowichan Valley has set up Warmland Sharps Pick-up Team.  Please leave a detailed message at: 250-732-7736 for this service.

The City has recently launched a Graffiti Removal Program for all property and business owners in the City of Duncan.  To learn more, please click here.

How to Make a Complaint

Often complaints are resolved amicably between neighbours.  As a result, and if possible, it is recommended that each resident of the City of Duncan attempt to resolve their issues before registering a complaint.  Where this is not possible, complaints can be registered through the City’s Issue Reporting Form where the infraction will be logged and responded to by a Bylaw Enforcement Officer (typically within three business days).  For urgent matters where public health or safety could be jeopardized, please contact the office at 250-746-6126.

Issue Reporting FORM

The length of enforcement proceedings will vary depending on the nature and circumstances of the complaint.  The volume of complaints received, cooperation of the property owner or person found in violation of the bylaw, the specifics of the bylaw contravention, and the process required to gain compliance will all affect the length of time of an investigation.  In general terms, we try to resolve most situations within one month of receipt of the complaint.

Some issues we receive complaints about are matters not regulated by the City.  They may be considered as a civil matter between the two property owners or as a minor non-enforceable infraction.  Examples include: trees overgrowing property lines and siting of fences on private property.

Considerations to be Taken When Initiating a Complaint

Information about the person logging the complaint is confidential and will not be released to the person whose property is under complaint, unless under an order made by the Provincial Freedom of Information Commissioner.

If a complaint escalates and becomes a legal matter, the City may request or require a complainant to act as a witness.  This is usually done as a last resort and such cases are considered exceptional and do not happen often.  A complainant would be informed of this requirement during the investigative process.

North Cowichan / Duncan RCMP page
To report a crime that has already been committed please use the North Cowichan / Duncan RCMP detachment reporting tool.