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Residents behaving badly: City breaks down bylaw complaints

On-street parking is by far the most complained-about offence

Parking violations prompted the most bylaw complaints to city hall during the past two years.

A review of complaints shows there were three times more parking-related concerns brought forward between May of 2020 and this past Thursday morning than the second-most grieved matter – noise and/or nuisance parties.

In all, the city received 13,485 parking-related complaints. That includes 8,361 related to on-street parking, 4,399 for parking on private property, 544 incidents of front lawn parking and 181 parking sign issues.

Up next were noise and/or nuisance party complaints, with 4,143, followed by security issues on public property (3,616), water compliance (2,317), poster or sign violations (1,616) and illegal dumping (1,523).

Other categories of complaint include long grass/yard maintenance (606), dog off leash (280), idling vehicle (177), donation bin issue (98),coyote sighting (48), pet waste (39), exotic pet issue (16) and one newspaper box issue.

By the end of this month, the city plans to launch a new dashboard on its website allowing people to view bylaw complaints in real time, tracked by areas in order to protect the privacy of individual addresses. 

Complaints will also be able to be filed through the web page.

“This is the information citizens have reported to us,” explained Alex Brossault, the city’s program manager of GIS and data, who provided the complaints data to GuelphToday. “This allows you as a citizen to, if you see something in the community, to report that issue. It goes directly to the appropriate department in the city.”

Next month, Brossault noted, the city plans to essentially double the types of matters shown on the dashboard, expanding it to include things such as reported potholes.

Excluding parking-related offences, 25 bylaw charges have been laid in Guelph so far this year, city solicitor Chris Cooper said in an email.

"Unfortunately, the city’s system cannot track which specific bylaws under which those charges were laid," he noted.

There were 212 such charges laid in 2021, with 109 in 2020, 207 in 2019 and 261 in 2018.