City of Vancouver asks residents to sound off on noise concerns
City seeks to revamp noise bylaw, which hasn't had any significant updates since 1997
What sound is driving you crazy and how are you dealing with it?
Those are some of the questions Vancouver city staff are asking residents as they look to craft new rules around noise.
The city says residents are being given the chance to sound off on their noise concerns in an online survey.
Sarah Hicks, chief licence inspector for the City of Vancouver, says the survey is an important opportunity to create a balance between making the city more lively and respecting quiet spaces.
"Where can we look at providing opportunities for more noise — for outdoor festivals, for music-related events, for arts and culture, economic growth opportunities — and where are areas that we need to look at for them to consider maybe making it a quieter area," Hicks said.
The noise bylaw defines how much noise is acceptable, based on location, time of day, where the noise is coming from and what is producing it.
Hicks says it was implemented in 1989 and hasn't had any significant updates since 1997.
Concerns about construction, leaf blowers
West End resident Barbara Campbell says a major construction project near her home is "going to drive us all out of our buildings."
"Noise control does not seem to be an issue in their project, especially in the summertime," Campbell said.
She said she would like to see tighter controls on the hours when noise is allowed.
Leaf blowers can also be a source of aggravation. The City of Vancouver has received 29 noise complaints so far this year regarding their use.
A bylaw put in place in 2004 prohibited their use within the area bounded by Stanley Park, Burrard Street, West Georgia Street and Beach Avenue, making the West End the first neighbourhood in Canada to ban the machines. Residents in the past have said the bylaw is rarely enforced.
The online survey closes at the end of this month and recommendations will be brought to council in the fall.
"Now is the opportunity for us to really understand what residents feel about the bylaw — what needs updating, what do they like about it, what have we missed — and really modernize and look for opportunities to enhance our noise bylaw," Hicks said.
- With files from Yasmin Gandham