Model airplanes, live music too noisy for some Amherstburg residents
The town's noise bylaw was written in 2001
Residents filled the Amherstburg Municipal Office during Monday evening's council meeting to voice their concerns about loud noises in the community.
Residents of the 4700 Block of 4th Concession Road North filed noise complaints against Sun Parlor R/C Flyers — a volunteer-based club where members fly model airplanes — arguing that sound from the club's activities prevent residents from enjoying their property.
Amherstburg resident Tom Bateman wrote to the town stating "...sound levels on our property ... have been recorded. The noise is generated from early morning till dusk seven days a week, and can be likened to a gas-powered weed whipper or chainsaw running next door all day long."
Paul Sousa, president of Sun Parlor R/C Flyers, has been a member of the club since 1994. He said this was the first time his organization has ever received noise complaints.
"We've been in there since 1975 and nothing's really changed," he said. "We control ourselves out in the field."
Sousa asked council to exempt his club from a bylaw that bans them from operating any planes that are propelled by combustion engines in a residential or agricultural area — something that residents were against.
He also suggested that council implement an amendment that would only allow the club to operate between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
The Royal Canadian Legion also received noise complaints from residents of a nearby condo concerned about live patio music on weekends.
"We started bands in 2008," said Laurie Cavanaugh, president of the Royal Canadian Legion's Fort Malden branch. "Last year, we had a complaint from the condo owners that moved in and said the bands were too loud. So, we compromised. We've moved speakers. We've done different things."
Updating noise bylaw
Amherstburg noise bylaw was written in 2001. Council is now considering adding a 70 dB limit to the bylaw.
If that limit is enforced, Cavanaugh said her organization is "going to try" to follow it, but is doubtful it will work.
"Our bands are our money-makers. When there are charities going on, festivals, we actually bring in a big crowd," she said, adding that the Royal Canadian Legion donates $35,000 every year from the money generated from the bands.
"It's a downtown core and the only people that complained are the condo owners. We have actually had houses across the street for years. People used to sit out, open their windows with little kids in the window and dance."
Amherstburg Coun. Peter Courtney said council "wants to appease everybody," adding that Monday evening's meeting provided clarity and feedback from each party.
"We do have a noise bylaw that we're looking to address ... to hopefully give clarification to how loud people can be, how loud music can be, and hopefully everyone's happy in the end."