Councillors vote to keep voice on noise bylaw exemptions
City committee rejects proposal that would have notified councillors of exemptions after the fact
A committee of Ottawa city councillors has rejected a plan to streamline the rules around limiting noisy after-hours construction.
Under current city bylaws, construction noise must stop at 10 p.m. and cannot restart until 7 a.m.
Construction companies can can apply for exemptions for round-the-clock work, such as pouring concrete, but those exceptions require the consent of the local councillor.
If a councillor refuses to grant an exemption, the matter would go before city council for a final decision.
Ottawa bylaw chief Linda Anderson had recommended an amendment to the rule, offering instead to notify the councillor after an exemption had been approved by the bylaw department.
The impetus for the proposed change was the growing number of massive public works projects that transcend ward boundaries, said Anderson.
"What we're hoping to do with this is remove the burden from a particular ward councillor on a project that has a city-wide impact," she said.
But councillors on the community and protective services committee were cool to the idea and rejected the proposal.
College Ward Coun. Rick Chiarelli feared it would leave him scrambling to warn residents at the last minute.
"As soon as you remove the requirement for the consent by the councillor, the notification around this place has dwindled to the point where it's just in time to get approval, and there really is no opportunity for input any more," said Chiarelli.