Some changes might be on the way to the noise bylaw.
© Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
Councillors listen as Katelyn Soltys, Moose Jaw's assistant city solicitor, talks about the proposed changes to the noise bylaw at the Aug. 11, 2014 executive committee meeting.
At Monday’s executive committee meeting, executive voted in favour of having the city clerk/solicitor bring forward the proposed noise bylaw, Bylaw No. 5488, as outlined in the report discussed at the meeting.
“The purpose of the draft bylaw is to update the current regulations regarding unnecessary or unreasonable noise in the City of Moose Jaw,” said Katelyn Soltys, Moose Jaw’s assistant city solicitor.
A proposed new addition to the bylaw is to prohibit specific types of motor vehicle noise. Similar restrictions in the bylaws exist in Saskatoon, Regina, North Battleford, Yorkton, Prince Albert and Melfort.
“It’s generally restricting the idling of motors in residential districts, with some exceptions of course, and the use of vehicles that cause loud, unnecessary or unreasonable noise in city limits as bylaw enforcement officers have had numerous complaints in the past few years,” said Soltys.
Another proposed new addition is for outdoor public event noise. If passed, outdoor events could occur without council approval as reoccurring events could continue without asking council permission. That would include annual events such as Motif.
The proposed changes include excluding Sundays from the definitions of holidays. Noise would be limited seven days a week between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Under the current noise bylaw, the quiet time goes from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. on Sunday.
The report stated the general prohibitions section would include “a list of factors to be considered by a court of competent jurisdiction when determining an unreasonable or unnecessary sound.” Inspectors can also use those factors to judge if a sound is prohibited.
“This was considered an important thing to include in the bylaw because unnecessary and unreasonable can be considered arbitrary,” said Soltys. “So this gives factors for both citizens and inspectors and police to determine what is unreasonable or unnecessary sound.”
The construction noise section has been amended in the draft bylaw and now includes a general area list where construction noise is allowed, such as commercial, industrial or railway areas and where commercial operations are present in a district zoned community service or institutional.
Further, there are amended exceptions for those changes. Some of those exceptions include maintenance and repairs of provincial public utilities, snow removal used in parking lots zoned as commercial, industrial, railway or community service and institutional districts, and sounds from sporting arenas or buildings such as baseball diamonds and football fields while the sport is taking place.
“Under the current noise bylaw, a baseball game that goes later than 10 p.m. would be not abiding by the noise bylaw,” said Soltys. “So that exception was included in there.”
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