A 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.
“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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.