The By-law Division is responsible for the enforcement of the City of Welland’s by-laws. The By-law Division also takes care of Business Licensing. The Division consists of seven staff: three officers who address all by-laws and four staff who enforce the Parking Bylaw. The staff in By-law Enforcement responds primarily to complaints relating to violations of City By-laws including parking, zoning, clean yards, fencing, swimming pools and swimming pool enclosures, business licensing, sidewalk snow removal, noise and signs.
Other than for parking enforcement, the City of Welland’s By-law Division mainly operates on a complaint basis. When a complaint is received, it is investigated and appropriate action is taken. However, should a health and safety issue arise and/or if any violation of a by-law is apparent to an officer, the By-law Division may pursue this issue without a complaint.
Parking enforcement is proactively enforced throughout the City.
The By-law Enforcement Division is committed to the delivery of professional by-law enforcement in a timely and effective manner and in accordance with council direction. Our mandate is to achieve compliance with municipal by-laws; through education, mediation and as necessary through enforcement and prosecution.
Our primary goals are to ensure public safety and to maintain community standards which contribute to improving the quality of life in Welland.
NOTE: Welland’s By-law Enforcement Division does not enforce the Building Code or the Fire Code. These are enforced by the Building Division and Welland Fire and Emergency Services respectively. Complaints pertaining to the condition of a rental unit or heating, are to be submitted to the City’s Building Division with details confirming that the landlord has been recently advised about the problem and that it has not been corrected will be required.
Private Property Enforcement
Private Property Enforcement involves by-laws primarily associated with land use (zoning), lot maintenance, use of City road allowance, licensing of businesses, snow removal from the City sidewalk, signs and noise. The enforcement of these by-laws supports orderly development, community standards and community image.
Parking Enforcement is responsible for enforcing standards pertaining to parking on public road allowances and as requested on private property. Enforcement of parking regulations supports improved road safety, traffic flow, accessibility, and assists the City in managing its road infrastructure for refuse removal and snow clearing.
The Welland and District Humane Society is responsible for enforcing the City of Welland’s by-laws regarding cats and dogs. The Welland and District Humane Society also operates the municipality's animal shelter and devotes considerable care and time to finding homes for lost or abandoned animals and to reunite lost animals with their owners.
The By-law Enforcement Division is responsible for the issuance of all swimming pool and pool enclosure permits. Applications must be accompanied by the permit fee and deposit as well as a plot plan. For additional information, please contact the By-law Enforcement Division.
By-law complaints may be registered by mail, phone, e-mail, in writing or in person. The City strives to keep the identity of every complainant confidential unless the complainant has agreed to be identified. Complaints will be accepted only if the following information is provided:
- Complainant name, address and telephone number
- Complaint location (address)
- An explanation of the complaint and details that would assist with an investigation
- A summary of when and where the problem/infraction is occurring
How does The City of Welland respond to complaints?
You can expect acknowledgement of your complaint within two business days and we will investigate your complaint as soon as possible. In most cases By-law Enforcement Officers are successful in obtaining voluntary compliance with municipal by-laws. However, there are always some instances that require additional enforcement. While you may not always feel that your concerns are being addressed quickly enough, please note that when an individual does not voluntarily comply, there is a process that needs to be followed and formal legal requirements which can take time. The City of Welland appreciates your patience in by-law enforcement matters.
To report a by-law complaint, please contact the By-Law Enforcement Division at 905-735-1700 Ext. 2250, 2252, 2259 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does the City enforce its by-laws?
The City of Welland uses a variety of enforcement measures. The preferred method is to simply talk to property owners who are violating the municipality's by-laws, explain the need for the by-laws and, if possible, obtain voluntary compliance.
Where By-law Officers cannot easily meet with people:
- Letters will be sent explaining the nature of the violation and asking for compliance by a specific date
- Follow-up investigations will occur to ensure compliance
- If compliance is not achieved, the City may undertake additional action such as having the required work completed and billed to the property owner, commencement of formal legal proceedings and/or issuance of a ticket(s).
The most common bylaw violations are:
- grass 6” in height or greater
- garbage and debris on properties
- inoperative vehicles
- graffiti on fences, buildings or structures
- uncleared snow and/or ice on sidewalks
- overgrown bushes & shrubs obstructing sidewalks and/or visibility at intersections
- dilapidated, broken or leaning fences
- noise complaints
- standing water
- pools constructed without a permit
- barking dogs (enforced by the Welland & District Humane Society)
- illegal suites or apartments
- sheds and other accessory buildings too close to the property line
- boats and trailers parked on a residential property too close to the property line or out of season
Business Licensing Division
The Licensing Division is responsible for licensing various businesses operating within the City. Those businesses that require City licences are:
- Fireworks – sale of
- Food premises
- Food vehicles
- Hawker and Peddlars
- Outdoor Entertainment Events
- Personal Service Establishments – includes aesthetics, nail salons, barbers and hair styling shops
- Public Garages
Applications and complete by-law information can be obtained from the Division located on the second floor of City Hall. Those businesses that are licenced by the City are subject to required inspections upon initial application and renewal. The required inspections list can be found in Schedule “B” of the by-law.
Information regarding the requirements for each type of business the City of Welland licenses may be found in the Schedule for that business type with our Business Licensing By-law 2011-173.
Schedule 1 – Retail Sale of Fireworks
Schedule 2 – Food Premises
Schedule 3 – Food Vehicle
Schedule 4 – Hawker and Peddlar
Schedule 5 – Outdoor Entertainment Events
Schedule 6 – Pawnbrokers
Schedule 7 – Personal Service Establishment
Schedule 8 – Public Garage (Automotive Rental, Sales and Service)
Note: Lottery licensing is handled by the Clerks Division.