Noise bylaw still in limbo
Story by Ryan Edmunds / Special to Baytoday.ca Council is still unsure of the changes to be made to the noise bylaw after downtown residents and bar owners gathered at City Hall Monday night to have their say on the matter.
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John Lechlitner and other bar owners look on
Story by Ryan Edmunds / Special to Baytoday.ca
Council is still unsure of the changes to be made to the noise bylaw after downtown residents and bar owners gathered at City Hall Monday night to have their say on the matter.
"In Edmonton, an application for exemption to the noise bylaw must indicate the public interest of the event,” says Larry Patriquin, who lives on Worthington.
Patriquin stated there is no public interest in allowing private businesses to be exempt from the bylaw. He pointed out cities like Hamilton and Barrie where bylaws do not allow noise past midnight and a bylaw officer must be present to enforce noise levels.
"What we proposed is that, starting at 1 a.m. on the three nights of the Heritage Festival weekend, we start reducing the volume and measure it at our expense, and we continue to reduce the volume between 1 and 2 a.m. so we have a gradual turn down of the party," suggested John Lechlitner, owner of Cecil's and The Zoo.
Lechlitner says that since his business changed from Wylder's to Cecil's, they reduced their volume by 50 percent, and contends that noise levels have been impacted with people going in and out of the building to the smoking patios.
"Instead of your doors opening once when a customer comes in and once when the customer goes out, they're getting opened multiple times per customer."
Although Lechlitner mentioned that he thought monitoring the noise levels should be the responsibility of the venue's owner, Cecil's neighbours aren't convinced.
“I am not completely comfortable with the establishment owners monitoring in part because they said the noise wasn't that bad on Heritage Weekend and it was. I don't think that any of them would deliberately lie because I could sit outside with a meter myself." says Norma Jean Baker, also a resident of Worthington Street.
She says she would like to see a restriction enforced on decibel levels and explained some of the health risks associated with exposure to high decibel levels. Baker even brought a device that she had borrowed from Canadore College used for measuring decibel levels.
"One of these can be bought new for between 500 to 600 dollars. It (Monitoring) is neither complicated or expensive," Baker said in response to previous claims that such monitoring would be too costly and difficult.
Council has made several amendments to this bylaw and will continue to do so as the motion has been sent back to committee.