The City of Langford is working to put a cap on construction noise.
The city’s existing construction noise bylaw, drawn up in 1981 but updated several times, allows for noise from construction between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. or sunset – whichever is later – seven days a week including all statutory holidays.
“Some of the provisions, such as those regulating the times during which construction can occur, were more relevant at a time when there was much less construction and a less densely populated area,” read a staff report discussed at council’s Monday meeting (Jan. 10).
Staff proposed a number of new restrictions, limiting construction to between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. A new Sunday rule would limit work to inside a building with doors and windows installed and closed. Further restrictions lay out times when site grading, blasting and rock crushing can happen. Construction would be banned on statutory holidays except when a permit is issued.
Coun. Matt Sahlstrom said the problem has been growing recently and needed to be tackled.
“We promote Langford as a family friendly city, but people aren’t able to enjoy their properties due to ongoing noise,” he said during discussions Monday. “For those who think I don’t sympathize, I live on Walfred Road, my area has been a construction zone for 15 years. I feel your pain.”
Sahlstrom proposed further restrictions than those laid out in the staff report, saying there should be no blasting or rock breaking on Saturdays and that permits for work on statutory holidays should be limited to “extraordinary circumstances.”
Mayor Stew Young said it’s important to strike a balance between keeping construction jobs and minimizing noise. He said work on statutory holidays should be allowed in “emergencies,” so council does not have to grant a permit in the event of a power outage.
Ultimately, council unanimously approved a motion to direct city administration to draft a bylaw, based on comments given during the discussion. The proposed bylaw will be brought back to council for approval at a later date.