Dragon-boat racers get their boats in the water during the Okanagan Paddlefest last Saturday in Peachland. With increased tourism comes more bylaw infractions, Peachland council heard Tuesday.
Offences such as overnight camping, off-leash dogs and illegally parked vehicles have spiked considerably this summer.
"This has been the busiest July in five years," bylaw services contractor Dale Zimmerman wrote in a report to town council.
Sixty-four written warnings for various infractions of town bylaws were issued by Zimmerman in July. He also issued 57 verbal warnings, and dozens were cautioned about having their dogs off leash or letting them roam free on beaches.
However, only 16 tickets were actually issued, a reflection, Mayor Keith Fielding said Tuesday, of the common-sense way in which Zimmerman goes about his job enforcing bylaws that visitors may or may not know about.
"We don't want him using a heavy hand, especially with lots of tourists around," Fielding said.
"I think it's reflective of how happy we are with how Dale does his job that he's been unanimously reappointed in his contractor's position every year for the last several years," said Coun. Peter Schierbeck.
In other Peachland news, a report from Urban Systems concluded the town's development approval practices were "substantively" similar to those employed by other Okanagan communities.
Some developers have complained the town's bylaws make new construction a time-consuming and needlessly complicated affair. So, council felt it important to engage an independent review of the ways that development proposals are received and acted upon by town staff.
Urban Systems does recommend the town do more to "document and communicate" its development review and approval processes to lessen the possibility of future misunderstandings.
"The communication materials the district does have, including application forms and flow charts, are not up to date and are confusing," the Urban Systems report states.
From January through July, new construction worth $5.1 million was approved in Peachland, compared to $4.6 million during the same six-month period in 2012.
"We're going through a bit of a building boom in Peachland, and we want to make sure we stay open for business," Schierbeck said. "We want people to come here; we need people to come here."