By-Law Statistics

One of the new managers hired this year is Kevin Feagan – he is Manager By-Law Enforcement and Licensing.  On Monday, he provided a list of complaints to Councillor Aaron Burchat which Aaron read out at the Regular Council meeting as part of his Coordinator report. Aaron and other Councillors are taking literally that this part of the Council meeting should be about their Coordinator role but Mayor Henderson seems to have forgotten this and uses the time to mostly talk about what he has been doing – for the record, his Coordinator role is Economic Development (see Resources below for more on this).  But Kevin’s numbers are interesting – although it’s strange that Aaron omitted reading out the item “Homeless encampment complaints”.  I don’t recall these statistics being provided previously.

By-Law Statistics – one month

Kevin’s Report.
By-law statistics for August 15, 2022: For the period following the last report (1 month from July ## to August 15).
Service requests involving bylaw matters reflect the following:

  • 29 Animal Control Complaints
  • 7 General Bylaw Infractions
  • 14 Parking Complaints
  • 14 Homeless Encampments
  • 5 Noise Complaints
  • 3 Park Use Complaints
  • 2 Tree Bylaw Complaints
  • 2 Sign Bylaw Complaints
  • 1 Pool Bylaw Complaint
  • 6 Blvd Bylaw Complaints
  • 7 Lot maintenance Complaints
  • 4 Property Standards Complaints
  • 1 Zoning Complaint

Total: 95 (for month)

A total of 988 Parking Tickets were issued in this one month period (includes tickets by bylaw as well as Police)

2022 By-law Enforcement General Statistics
YTD (to Aug. 23, 2022)
Complaints/Service Requests: 484
Part II Provincial Offences; Parking Infraction Notices: 3,518

As many experts have been quoted as saying: “To understand an issue, first measure it.”  Or as Peter Drucker put it: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”

As well as a measure of what the By-Law officers are doing, the breakdown helps us understand exactly what Cobourg people are concerned about. It’s important to remember that Cobourg By-Laws are not proactively enforced (except for parking and beach) – they rely on complaints.


Information on Cobourg Internet web site

Town of Cobourg pages

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Gudrun Ludorf-Weaver
28 August 2022 5:24 pm

Interesting that there is no mention of the idling by-law.

28 August 2022 8:21 am

JD made an important point, “Cobourg By-Laws are not proactively enforced (except for parking and beach) – they rely on complaints.”

Fortunately many of us, including me, like to complain. I recently spoke to a guy who was wondering why the police do not remove somebody living in a trailer. I told him he needed to complain to the by-law officer. From the zoning by-law: Trailers or other mobile structures are not permitted as accessory buildings or structures. From other information in the by-law an accessory building has a use related to the main structure. For a house, which is used to live in, a trailer parked on the property cannot be used to live in. Neither can tents. But you need to complain if you know it is happening and want it to stop.

27 August 2022 11:15 am

I must live in some kind of bubble but I’m stunned by the number 988 parking tickets – one month. Hate to think what the annual number is. All well and good for the Town I guess. For the most part I’ve got to believe it is just be an attitudinal thing: entitlement or ‘quickie’ or forgetfulness or don’t care. Hopefully most of those ticketed are from away.

24 August 2022 11:11 am

I would be interested to know if any of the noise complaints related to the increasing number of hotted up car engines and exhausts. Owners of these vehicles take delight in making as much noise as possible as they accelerate along the straight streets such as Albert.

Reply to  Gailr
24 August 2022 2:18 pm

Now why on earth would anyone think engine and exhaust noise is to be enjoyed? Yet I have collected two thumbs down.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Gailr
24 August 2022 9:03 pm

Albert to Queen St.E.drag strip from the Post Office to Church St to D’Arcy.!

Reply to  Bill Thompson
25 August 2022 9:59 am

That type of thing has been going on forever in every town across this country; likely some of the contributors on this site watched car enthusiasts do the same thing in their younger years…we get old and miserable and forget about what it WAS like and only concern ourselves about what it IS like.

Reply to  Rob
25 August 2022 8:27 pm

Yes, there were the young guys squealing tires but they didn’t have their trunks full of base speakers. We also did not have the old pot belly pretend bikers with the factory exhaust removed and their radios blaring 70’s rock.

Reply to  Kyle
27 August 2022 4:33 pm

70’s Rock……….y-e-c-c-c-h-h!

Concerned Cobourg Resident
24 August 2022 9:04 am

Has anyone ever wondered how restrictions and government controls (ie. Fines) provides a net benefit to society? I have wondered this, and so has many other political philosophers that have come before us, ie. John Locke, john Stewart Mill, Ayn rand etc… The only beneficiary to government policy is the government themselves; the endless meetings and committee they have, all to decide how to best run OUR lives. The point is that we need less government and more freedom to govern ourselves. Dont get caught up in the beaurocratic hype. Vote out these idiots. Vote for those who espouse small governments – watch how your quality of life will increase by taking power away from the “state”

Reply to  Concerned Cobourg Resident
24 August 2022 11:39 am

That rumbling sound you’re hearing is John Stewart Mill and John Locke rolling over in their graves after being put in the same league as Ayn Rand.

Concerned Cobourg Resident
Reply to  Matt
26 August 2022 7:59 am

Taxation is Theft. Period.

“‘No one is more hated than he who speaks the truth” -Plato

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Concerned Cobourg Resident
26 August 2022 10:06 am

Poets practice unsafe text. Exclamation point.

No one is more respected than one who speaks the truth.” – Keeler.

Reply to  Concerned Cobourg Resident
27 August 2022 4:36 pm

Property is Theft. Period. -P-J Proudhon

Reply to  Concerned Cobourg Resident
27 August 2022 4:57 pm

“That’s a joke, son!” – Foghorn Leghorn

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
27 August 2022 6:15 pm
Reply to  Wally Keeler
29 August 2022 7:39 pm

I remember every episode

24 August 2022 8:55 am

This is an interesting discussion. I’ve learned some useful information like the fact that by-law enforcement is based on complaints.

How do I make a noise complaint? I would also like to make a presentation to council about the impact of noise. We live in a condo near the pier and find regular noise from several sources in the area to be draining to live with. If other condo developments in the area proceed there will be even more people paying property tax in an area where noise concerns are ignored.

Reply to  Moxy
24 August 2022 10:10 am

Isn’t part of living at the harbour embracing the events during the summer and winter months? The harbour, and beach are to be enjoyed by all, not just an entitled few.

Pete M
Reply to  Cathy
31 August 2022 7:09 am

Moxy bought where they did based on what they saw and the feelings it invoked, rather than doing their research of coming down and seeing how the area operated.
Its the same as the person who buys near an airport or railway, and then says Im going to move the airport and railway.
When in fact a move for them away from the airport is the better solution.
Might I suggest a move to the country where there are no neighbors- no farm animals- and no farm equipment.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Moxy
24 August 2022 10:23 am

I would also like to make a presentation to council about the impact of noise.”

I look forward to hearing your presentation. When will you make it?

Reply to  Moxy
24 August 2022 11:30 am

Moxy – I love those condos. The view. The proximity to the water and beach. The access to the pier (and the future improved pier). Walking distance to the marina, the Frink, restaurants and downtown. There are so many things to love about the location. The difficulty I have with your post is, all of those things were there long before you made the decision to purchase the property. You bought a condo in the busiest area in town – its filled with energy, events, activities, people, cars, campers, bikes, boats, locals and visitors. In many ways it is the heart of our community…what did you think was there? Its like buying a home in rural Northumberland County and complaining about the wildlife.

Enjoy it. Embrace it. Ignore it. Exit it. There are options…

Just a thought
Reply to  Rob
24 August 2022 12:13 pm

Why is the assumption always that these complaints are because of regular day-to-day activity?
What many people seldom consider is the Ford Diesel trucks at 1am seemingly having a contest about who can blow the most black smoke from their exhausts as they race down the Esplanade, the tailgate parties at the marina as donuts are done, ruining the grass that was once there (at all hours of the night) and the people who sit in their car between 1am and 3am with the bass on their stereos pounding through your home.
It is unreasonable to expect the people who live in that area to embrace that kind of behaviour. The festivals, people, market and entertainment are one thing (that’s part of the appeal, as you say, Rob). The clear ignorance of bylaws is another matter completely.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Just a thought
24 August 2022 1:20 pm

Why don’t the condo owners approach Town Council to have three speed bumps put into The Esplanade? I have been hearing complaints about speeders etc on The Esplanade for years and for years all that is done is whine on this blog about it. Instead of whining go do something about it — lobby for speed bumps. It doesn’t solve every issue but it will mitigate some of the extremities on Esplanade.

And there are complaints about those who go the wrong way on the Esplanade. I encountered one of those people and it was a stand-off — me on my mobility scooter blocking the way for the diesel Ford offender. They eventually turned around and went the right way. I collected a couple curses for the intervention.

The condo owners need to get it together and do something for themselves in these cases. Nag nag nag the politicians. Elections are coming up, so condo owners have every opportunity to open their mouths and nag the candidates. Raise questions.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Moxy
24 August 2022 6:26 pm

Btw, several times a year when I go along The Esplanade, the noise from all the landscape devices, mowers, blowers, trimmers, whackers is quite loud. The condo owners might want to hire an easier-on-the-ears landscaper if they want to maintain their ostentatious vanities.

24 August 2022 8:22 am

I think the real question is why Burchat skipped the homeless encampment complaint numbers. It smacks of data filtering and was a pretty dumb thing to do when the numbers are already in the report. Makes one wonder what other things don’t get verbalized. Taxpayers deserve better from elected officials but seldom get it.

Reply to  Are_n
24 August 2022 8:29 am

Probably because the CAO gives a update on those stats at each COW.

Aaron Burchat
Reply to  Concerned
24 August 2022 8:50 am

Thank you Concerned the information on encampments is already being updated on by the CAO. These are reported numbers I’m getting now at my coordinator meetings from the Bylaw Manager and thought the public would be interested in knowing what the department is up to other than parking.

Last edited 5 months ago by Aaron Burchat
Lemon Cake
24 August 2022 8:11 am

It would be helpful to see comparative statistics over different periods to see whether there are any trends. That’s a lot of animal control complaints. Also, where are these homeless encampments? I have sadly seen people passed out or sleeping along the street or on benches in the park but I wouldn’t consider them encamped.

Ken Strauss
23 August 2022 5:51 pm

Perhaps more important than the number of complaints is how they were resolved. For example, how many of the Property Standards Complaints were deemed invalid, how many are now up to standard, how many are being remedied? How were the Animal Control Complaints resolved? How were the Homeless Encampments Complaints resolved? What was the total amount of fines levied and how much was collected? Etc, etc.

Last edited 5 months ago by Ken Strauss
Reply to  Ken Strauss
23 August 2022 6:14 pm


The report is a refreshing change from the usual Burchat/Henderson drivel.

I suggest you send your comments to Kevin Feagan, the new by-law manager, suggesting fuller commentary would be appreciated in future reports.

Interesting that JD saw fit to comment that “… Councillor Aaron Burchat read out the report as part of his Coordinator report. This part of the Council meeting should be about their Coordinator role but Mayor Henderson seems to have forgotten this and uses the time to mostly talk about what he has been doing….”

JH using Council time to campaign. 

Reply to  Ken Strauss
30 August 2022 8:16 am

I know for sure about 30 property standard complaints that don’t show in the stats were handed in just this month about a certain property in the downtown historic district. Must have been post the publish date.