Sicamous’ council approved changes to the district’s noise bylaw adding designated quiet hours and more clearly defining what constitutes noise.
The updates to the noise bylaw were given first, second and third readings at council’s Sept. 11 meeting. They will be up for final reading at council’s Oct. 9 meeting.
One of the updates approved by council is the addition of designated quiet hours. Under the updated bylaw, no noise will be allowed before 7 a.m. or after 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday, or before 9 a.m. or after 10 p.m. on Sundays or statutory holidays. The bylaw is concerned with noise which is interrupting in nature or that is likely to interrupt sleep for people in the vicinity.
The bylaw specifically mentions noise from musical instruments, stereos or other amplifiers, animals and motorized equipment. Whether a noise is excessively loud is at the discretion of the bylaw officer and based on factors including the land use and zoning of the site of the noise and surrounding properties, as well as its duration and volume.
A number of prohibited noises are also specified in the updated bylaw. Noise from motor vehicles without a functional muffler, excessive vehicle noise such as excessive use of car horns, squealing tires, unattended car alarms and engine brakes are covered in the bylaw, as is any other kind of unreasonably loud or excessive noise.
Construction noise is also curtailed by the bylaw – none is permitted before 7 a.m. or after 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday, or Sunday before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. The bylaw specifies that construction businesses will not be able to do construction that creates noise on statutory holidays.
Exemptions to the bylaw include maintenance vehicles like snow plows and street sweepers, and events which the district issues a special events license for. The bylaw notes that permission in writing for work outside the allowed hours can also be requested from the bylaw officer.