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Niagara-on-the-Lake scraps proposed noise bylaw after ‘resounding no’ from public

Councillors from Niagara-on-the-Lake opted to scrap an unpopular noise bylaw during a scheduled meeting on Monday August, 10, 2020. Don Mitchell / Global News

draft noise bylaw which Niagara-on-the-Lake councillors say ‘upset’ a number of residents during an online open house in July was dropped by the municipality on Monday.

Lord Mayor Betty Disero made the motion to ‘no longer pursue’ draft amendments to the by-law which would have capped the town’s noise level at 50 decibels between 11 p.m. and 7 p.m. and 55 decibels between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.

At those levels, yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing would have been prohibited in the municipality enforced by a proposed fine of $350.

Read more: Singing or hooting after 9 p.m. in Niagara-on-the-Lake? Draft bylaw proposes $350 fine

“I think because there’s been so much community engagement in the last three or four days, I think it’s a loud and clear, resounding no from the public.” said Disero during a virtual council meeting.

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At the root of the challenges with the potential bylaw was enforcement as councillors noted that bylaw officers generally don’t work during the evening when a lot of noise complaints happen.

Click to play video 'Proposed Niagara-on-the-Lake noise bylaw met with loud boos' Proposed Niagara-on-the-Lake noise bylaw met with loud boos
Proposed Niagara-on-the-Lake noise bylaw met with loud boos – Aug 6, 2020

 

Disero’s motion also directs staff to create a workshop studying current noise bylaws and the challenges of enforcement.

During Monday’s discussion, councillors wrestled with how the existing draft came together with councillor Clare Cameron saying a public consultation assignment was given to staff years ago from ‘notes cut and pasted’ about noise.

Read more: Homicide of Livia Beirnes in St. Catharines remains unsolved after 10 years

“Anyone who is trying to pinpoint where the 55 decibels came from, that problematic figure, I can’t find any evidence of it in any of those notes,” said Cameron, “There was no one in those public consultations that pulled a number out of the air.”

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The potential bylaw caught the attention of a number of local entertainers and entrepreneurs that weighed in through the petition on change.org campaign which was started on August 4.

The motion to scrap the draft bylaw passed unanimously on Monday night.