Planning Committee moving forward with nuisance by-law

This post, from September 6, has details on a nuisance by-law recently passed at Planning Committee.

John-Paul Danko Ward 8 Hamilton City Councillor

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

In response to an unsanctioned “homecoming” street party near McMaster University last fall as well as a St. Patrick’s party in March, a nuisance party bylaw is one step closer to becoming reality after councillors voted to move on suggestions made in a staff report.

For more details, please continue reading below…

The staff report, created in response to a motion from the February 15, 2022 Planning Committee, requested Licensing and By-Law Services to consult with the Hamilton Police Service and other community stakeholders, to identify best practices from other Ontario municipalities, and report back next steps for the development and implementation of a Nuisance Party By-Law in the City of Hamilton.

City staff say the “fake homecoming” street party in October resulted in significant property damage as well as an accumulation of waste costing the city $1,731.37 in street cleaning.

Safety and cost recovery were primary issues brought forth by bylaw services amid reports of excessive alcohol consumption, high levels of noise, and blockages of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The Hamilton Paramedic Service also incurred costs upwards of $19,000 for labour and response during the October 2nd party.

Due to proactive measures, the unsanctioned St. Patrick’s Day gathering on March 19 cost a combined $243,944.

“I am absolutely astounded that one unsanctioned nuisance party like this could cost city of Hamilton taxpayers $243,000 in costs”

“I’m also really surprised that the institutions responsible don’t share in any of that cost.”

Ward 8 Councillor John-Paul Danko

Licensing and Bylaw services told planning committee members the new bylaw outlines 11 “nuisance characteristics” that make up the threshold to define an unsanctioned party, including disorderly conduct, public drunkenness, and the deposit of refuse on public or private property.

“A nuisance party is declared by the chief of police or their designee,” councillors were told.

“The declaration can only be made when the threshold of four characteristics of a nuisance party (are met) as outlined in the definitions of the bylaw,” Bylaw services added.

Suggested fines in the Hamilton staff report are similar to recent nuisance bylaw law initiatives undertaken by other Ontario municipalities that have seen similar disruptive gatherings.

The proposed punishments include provincial offence notices and administrative (POA) penalties ranging from upwards of $300 to $500 for hosting, attending, permitting, defacing signs and failure to leave.

The proposed bylaw also suggests a “university district safety initiative”, establishing zero tolerance enforcement areas prior to an unsanctioned event

The nuisance party bylaw will now need approval from the public safety working group before being brought to city council for final approval on Sept. 14.

Questions or concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact our office here.

Councillor John-Paul Danko