Kelowna councillor to go ahead with motion on construction noise

Building noise on agenda

Kelowna city councillor Rick Webber wants to know what can be done about construction noise in the city and how other municipalities deal with the issue.

Webber will bring forth a notice of motion at next Monday's council meeting asking staff to review construction noise restriction bylaws in other communities and options for amending local bylaws.

Webber came under fire from the local chapter of the Canadian Home Builders Association when he first broached the subject of reviewing the hours construction workers can be on the job.

The current noise bylaw allows for construction noise from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. seven days a week. Contravening the bylaw can result in a $500 fine.

In his notice of motion, Webber says housing construction is one of the city's top priorities, and as such, council is approving dozens of new developments each year with construction happening at times just feet away from existing homes.

Living with nearby construction

"Learning to live with nearby construction has become a fact of life for hundreds of city residents. In fact, due to Kelowna's rapid growth and our billion dollars-plus construction industry located within a small land base, Kelowna residents may be more like than other Canadians to find themselves living near a construction project," says Webber in his notice of motion.

"Many of these projects can last one year, two years, even three years. This can be difficult for neighbours of all ages to cope with."

"A variety of Kelowna residents have written to council describing the impact of on-going construction noise on their stress levels and the mental health of their entire families."

Webber says some development-heavy cities in the province allow fewer construction hours each day as well as no construction on Sunday and statutory holidays.

"In summary I'd like to introduce for council's consideration a motion to have staff review Kelowna's construction noise bylaws and their variances, examine the bylaws in other communities and issue recommendations for possible changes to ease the noise impact of Kelowna's widespread construction on nearby residents."

A majority of council would have to agree before staff can move forward with the contents of the motion.

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