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City of Kingston drafts nuisance bylaw, public input to follow

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The legislation would allow Bylaw Officers to patrol large street gatherings to collect information and photographs, then return to hand out tickets in the following days – Nov 14, 2017

In an effort to keep unsanctioned street parties in check, the city of Kingston has drafted what they’re calling a nuisance party bylaw.

“We’ve certainly seen instances, three or four times a year, where a nuisance party bylaw could have been invoked,” City of Kingston co-ordinator of Licensing and Enforcement, Greg McLean said.

READ MORE: Unsanctioned parties at Queen’s Homecoming keeps Kingston paramedics busy, stretches ER resources

The drafting of the bylaw was prompted after Queen’s University’s homecoming weekend last month where Kingston Police handed out more than double the number of tickets to partygoers than the previous year.

The force says it spent about $86,000 to police the area around the university that weekend, almost the entire amount that Queen’s gives the city annually to help cover the cost of dealing with unsanctioned events.

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“At the same time, it’s something that’s for the whole community, so it’s not meant to target students specifically,” Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson said. “It really is like establishing a code of conduct for the community as a whole.”

If passed, the legislation would allow bylaw officers to patrol large street gatherings to collect information and photographs, then return to hand out tickets in the following days.

READ MORE: Queen’s University alumni return for homecoming celebrations

On campus, students had a much more cynical view of the proposed bylaw.

“All that’s going to do is take money out of the student’s pockets, and not really deter us from drinking or partying,” First-year Queen’s student Arthur Desrochers said.

“It would kind of be a dampener on this huge part of Queen’s culture, and I mean something like that is not going to stop people from partying anyway,” international student, James Guy added.

The public will have an opportunity to provide input on the nuisance bylaw at a public meeting later this month. It will likely be in place sometime in the new year.

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