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Langford looking at how other municipalities let the dust settle

Council asked staff to research how other municipalities approach dust control bylaw
Langford city hall on Goldstream Avenue, shot in February 2022. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)

Langford wants more information on how other municipalities manage dust before deciding on a new bylaw.

Municipal staff presented a report to council after Coun. Lillian Szpak introduced a notice of motion at the Aug. 15 council meeting asking the city consider a dust bylaw, pointing to mounting resident concerns.

In what became a heated affair at times, several residents shared concerns about construction dust in Langford during a Sept. 6 council meeting.

Langford resident Patsy Hamilton said the “dust is unbelievable” near her home, while some rejected the need for a bylaw.

Members of the West Shore Developers Association (WSDA) cited the particularly dry weather conditions Greater Victoria has had over the past two months as a challenge for developers in managing the dust.

“We are working, we are listening, and the methods currently in place, management of dust that’s in place is taken seriously. I suggest that dust bylaw would not improve the situation one bit,” said Ron Coutre, WSDA president.

Coutre added one new construction site he’d opened had complaints about dust submitted to the city from residents within hours of opening the site.

Langford Mayor Stew Young said dust is not a problem most of the year, but the summer months have been particularly dry, making the dust much harder to manage.

Common methods to manage dust include watering the area with a water truck, setting up a sprinkler system or using chemical agents like calcium chloride to help prevent the dust spread.

READ MORE: Greater Victoria had its hottest August ever recorded

Councillors Lanny Seaton and Matt Sahlstrom said they worried about a bylaw’s impact on residences.

“I’m worried about neighbour turning on neighbour,” said Sahlstrom.

This isn’t the first time Langford has considered a dust bylaw.

The protective services committee and council mulled over the issue in 2016, with a draft bylaw presented based on Colwood’s dust control bylaw. At the time, Langford opted against passing its own bylaw, instead referring the issue to the WSDA to work along with the city on strategies to manage dust.

Councillors received the report for information and asked staff to research ways other municipalities manage dust before returning to council with another report.

READ MORE: Summer construction projects leaving Langford residents in the dust


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