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City of Hamilton - Planning & Economic Development

Municipal Law Enforcement (MLE)

Education and awareness are important, by understanding by-laws property owners and occupants (tenants) will know their responsibilities and can avoid consequences for by-law violations.  Municipal Law Enforcement (MLE) Officers enforce by-laws by investigating to determine if there is a violation(s) and will take the necessary measures to ensure the violation(s) is corrected (compliance obtained).

MLE Officers work in teams responding to complaints and conducting proactive investigations.  Below are the enforcement teams and some of the more common by-laws they enforce.


  • Yard Maintenance By-law 10-118: addresses exterior property maintenance
    • Long grass and weeds (do not exceed 20cm or 8 inches in height
    • Garbage and debris
    • Dog feces (accumulation in yards)
    • Graffiti
    • Inoperative vehicle (unable to operate, does not have a current permit)
    • illegal dumping
  • Snow and Ice Removal By-law 03-296
    • Removal of snow and ice off sidewalks surrounding properties within 24 hours of a snow event
    • Removal of snow and ice that builds up on roofs/eaves that overhang the city sidewalk
    • Place or throw snow and ice on the road or boulevard is a violation
  • Trees
    • Trees on Public Property By-law 06-151
    • Trees on Private Property (Ancaster, Dundas, Stoney Creek)
    • Woodlands Consrevation Regional By-law R00-054 

Licensing and Permits

Property Standards and Zoning

  • Property Standards By-law 10-221: addresses health and safety standards for a building and the land around the property.
    • Plumbing, Electrical
    • Stairs, Floors, Walls, Roofs
    • Doors, Windows
    • Fences, Retaining Walls, Barriers
    • Garages, Sheds
  • Fence By-law 10-142: addresses allowed heights, locations, materials etc.
  • Zoning By-law 05-200: addresses legal usage of land (residential, industrial, commercial)

Special Enforcement

  • Noise By-law 11-285 (including barking dogs)
  • Heat By-law 04-091 (temperatures are to be no less than 20ºC between September 1st and May 31st)
  • Public Nuisance By-law 09-110: addresses urinating in public, knocking over mail, newspaper boxes and waste containers.
Project Complaince
  • A team of Officers doing proactive investigations for Yard Maintenance, Property Standards and Zoning By-laws in wards 1 - 8.