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Posted: April 20, 2022

Encroachment bylaw adopted by Fernie

By Erin Knutson

City of Fernie council adopted a new encroachment bylaw at its April 11 meeting, taking a firm stance on its existing policy.

According to “Encroachment Bylaw No. 2460, 2022,” the city has the authority to police encroachment issues within the community.

“Encroachment means anything constructed or erected with a fixed location on the ground or attached to something having a fixed place on the ground, extending over or under municipal lands,” said the city staff report. Fernie – Document Center (

Restrictions outlined in detail within the bylaw stipulate that unless a valid encroachment agreement exists, breaches within Fernie will be dealt with by RCMP and Bylaw Enforcement Officers.

According to Fernie bylaw enforcement officer Tom Kramer, a communications strategy to inform the public of their rights and the necessary procedures and documents to act within the city’s encroachment guidelines will be widely available.

“Our communications department is discussing how to facilitate through brochures, the website, Fernie Free Press, and hand-delivered notices,” he said.

Kramer stated that most residents hold “P2 Zoning Parks and Open Spaces,” which disallows encroachment agreements that would ease some restrictions.

“However, if someone applies for one, we consider the totality of the circumstances and then decide from there.”

Councillor Troy Nixon highlighted the financial aspect of applications as being a revenue stream.

Director of Finance for the city, Bryn Burditt, confirmed money sustained from the applications would go directly into the city’s revenue surplus.

Mayor Ange Qualizza acknowledged the immense undertaking of creating the new bylaw.

“Mr. Kramer, I’ve said this before, but that was a heroic amount of work for your department – thank you,” she said.

e-KNOW file photo


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