Edmonton has hired staff to monitor and charge infill developers as necessary. Edmonton is preparing a squad of individuals to assist in auditing and citing contractors of infill developments. These individuals have been referred to as “infill cops.” They will be officially referred to as the Infill Construction Compliance Team.
The three-person brigade of peace officers will be responsible for completing inspections of infill properties as well as enforcing laws. These officials will be able to hand out fines and perhaps most significantly, lay charges to those not following the rules.
In the past, people would need to make the decision to seek legal action and sue if contractors had done something like drive a bobcat through a constituent’s hedge. Nightmarish accidents like this have helped the city confirm the need for oversight. People in the community are also concerned about allowing deep basements and side yards that will be narrower.
City officials say implementing this team is long overdue, as constituents have made it clear that someone needs to be continually monitoring the contractors. After all, like most things in life, you’re going to get the good with the bad, and the bad in this case are very bad. Among the complaints received from the city were frustrations with unreasonable noise, parking violations, and muddied streets and sidewalks.
A planning advisor in Edmonton has stated that most residents are tolerant of the noise as well as the mud. However, when multiple projects pop up in the same vicinity, people are less accommodating, and it begins to affect their comfort level and mental health.
A suggestion was also made to end construction work on Sunday in order to give residents a break from the constant noise. Council members expect the infill cops to begin in a couple months or so. The budget is currently being reviewed, and expectations for costs are approximately $500,000. The Sustainable Development Branch has arranged to pay for this with the $22 million dollars they have in reserves. Taxpayers need not worry.
The goal is to monitor current practices and improve upon the rules set in place. Peace officers will be training and getting ready to hit the streets soon. Overall, there are high hopes and expectations for change for the residents as well as the city.