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Bylaw prohibits noise from amplified source after 11 p.m.

UPDATE:  Council approved changing the after 9 p.m. prohibition for noise from an amplified source in a hamlet or urban area to after 11 p.m.

Council also asked that staff review enforcement for the bylaw and return recommendations and information back for discussion in the first quarter of 2022.

Following several suggestions for changes, and some confusing conversation, and two amending motions, councillor Andreas Bolik warned council it might make a Frankenstein of the bylaw and should take care not to cobble together an important, intricate document on the fly.

Council approved the motion that “No person shall at any time emit or cause or permit the emission of noise resulting from any activity if clearly audible at a point of reception.”

Bolik noted that “Without referencing Schedule A (restrictions), it seems it will be illegal to pass wind in presence of any other person… We have to be careful what we pass here tonight,” he added, to emphasize his point for the need for comprehensive exemptions – rural and urban – and be careful that the bylaw does not have unintended consequences.

Schedule A, noted Andy Harrison, Chief Building Official, is not all-encompassing, but is a guideline.

_ _ _

Updates to a revised draft noise bylaw before council Tuesday explore two remaining issues council asked staff to consider – outdoor amplified music and industrial noise.

The draft proposes prohibited times for noise from an amplified source in a hamlet or urban area from 9 p.m. and in rural areas, outside of a hamlet or urban area, from 11 p.m. The proposed restriction applies to all properties. Operation of a pit or quarry, site alteration, or docking expansions is prohibited from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Set fines are $200 minimum – first conviction, to a maximum fine of $25,000; subsequent conviction, to a minimum fine of $500 and a maximum fine of $50,000.

“Staff are recommending the bylaw include restrictions for types of noises that will be prohibited during specific time frames throughout the municipality. With increased tourism and the increase in short-term accommodations, the noise bylaw needs to reflect the expectations of our residents and be enforceable,” stated Andy Harrison, Chief Building Official, in his report to council for Tuesday night.

Amplified Sound is defined as sound made by any electronic device or a group of connected electronic devices incorporating one or more loudspeakers or other electro mechanical transducers, and intended for the production, reproduction or amplification of sound.

Two commercial venues were discussed by council at its September meeting as illustrative of the concerns with the proposed new noise bylaw as it relates to amplified sound.

Harrison’s report notes those two properties have generated almost all of the noise complaints relating to amplified sound from commercial properties in 2021 and are currently under planning and bylaw review for zoning and bylaw conformance.

“This review should address the concerns of council and the public. The one property is currently working on a site plan approval where conditions could be put in place for the control of noise. The other property will require a re-zoning and site plan approval to allow for a banquet type facility.”

The bylaw enforcement officers and OPP officers responding to noise complaints during prohibited times will have the discretionary ability to determine if there is an offence and can proceed accordingly without taking or relying on sound pressure readings to prove non-compliance with the bylaw.

SOME EXCEPTIONS:
The bylaw excludes noise as the result of measures undertaken in an emergency, the sound of a church bell or chime, audible traffic signals, noise created by the collection or disposal of garbage, waste or recyclable material; the operation of domestic power tools, chain saw, chipper or leaf blower power, equipment used for lawn, garden, building or property maintenance, but excluding construction, on any day between 7 a.m. and 11; noise arising from the operation of construction or construction equipment on any day between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.; street sweepers, snow removal equipment and occasional cultural, recreational and other outdoor gatherings, public dances, shows, and sporting and entertainment events provided said events are conducted with a permit or licence issued by the County of Prince Edward; and agricultural operations carried on in accordance with normal farm practice.

 

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  1. angela says:

    It has to work for everyone, not just those looking for entertainment at night. While 9 p.m. seems a little early there needs to be a compromise.

  2. Teena says:

    I do not believe an 11pm cut-off for outside amplified noise is unreasonable. I for one do not want to hear your music … Ever! Take it inside after that hour. Children go to school, adults have to get up early for work seven days a week, year round, farmers get up earlier than most would even consider. Nobody needs to hear this noise at all. How about some quiet? You want loud music? Stay home!

  3. MI says:

    Businesses are an important part of this community as well as a source of revenue and jobs. I am a retired senior and am very tired of the intolerant and selfish complaining about anything anybody does.

  4. Flex says:

    Can’t open windows at night here in town because of noise and campfire smoke that makes breathing difficult for our asthmatic kids. Try to have campfires around the GTA. No way! We are however forced to use A/C giving one more blow for climate change. The tourist dollar rules? Will we ever learn?

  5. Dan says:

    This is truly disappointing. Small business and visitors, appear to be the target. This will have a detrimental effect to both.
    I support going after the bad actors, but this exceeds anything fair minded. The punishment should fit the crime, vast majority impacted by this new bylaw have done nothing wrong.

  6. Emily says:

    You can provide your comments (3 minutes) to the bylaw at tonight’s meeting allbeit virtually.

  7. Dan says:

    Suggesting a business will need to apply for rezoning to comply with new bylaw, is oppressive. Why not just force all businesses to close at 9pm during summer months? No parking, no campfires, no music, steel gates and private security at public beaches… wow what is next?

  8. County says:

    Admittedly, I did not listen to or watch the discussion before Council; I did however, provided feedback when asked for input.

    Has there been any discussion or consideration to the number of licenses granted within geographic locations for the same dates? In the rural area, sound travels extensively, especially over water and to have multiple locations, sometimes 3 or 4 at the same time, “going” even during the day is distracting and unsettling. Sort like a dripping faucet.

    Those same conflicting locations going well into the night up until 11pm is disturbing to residents, some of whom get up at 4am to attend to livestock etc. Not every tourist, trailer, venue and camp park needs loud music going at the same time. Worth considering please

  9. Michelle says:

    Shutting down outdoor amplified music at 9:00 pm in Urban areas is regressive. God, can you remember when you were young. A lot don’t go out for some fun until after 9:00. I don’t think this will fly particularly in a tourist , and event driven Town.

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