Sick and tired of hearing the incessant squawking of a bird deterring device on the roof of the apartment building next to his, Victoria West resident Darrell Pfeifer is taking action.
The bird deterring device is located on top of one a neighbouring apartments along Saghalie Road and is intended to prevent a nuisance – seagulls.
But, for Pfeifer and several other residents, it’s the deterring device that’s been the nuisance.
Once every minute, the device emits a squawking bird noise.
“It would be roughly like having a loud cricket chirping outside your window and having it go every minute,” said Pfeifer. “I bet that after a few hours of that you’re probably going to find that cricket and help it on its way.”
Last spring, Pfeifer reached out to the neighbouring building’s strata council and asked them to consider alternatives to the deterring device. When the council dismissed his concern, Pfeifer started rallying residents to complain to Victoria’s bylaw department.
He created a website and Facebook page called “Stop the Bayview Squawk” asked people if they had heard the noise while riding the elevator and started posting about the issue on social media regularly.
— Darrell Pfeifer (@darrell_pfeifer) October 4, 2020
Pfeiffer said most people he spoke to knew the sound he was talking about but hadn’t known where it came from.
In September, bylaw limited use of the device to daytime, and at a lower sound.
Pfeiffer said it’s been an improvement, but the regular squawking of the deterring device is still all he can hear every time he cracks open a window or steps onto his balcony.
There are plenty of other noises in the area – construction, traffic, the shipyard – but they are all noises that come and go, explained Pfeiffer. The squawking never ends.
There is also an audible bird deterring device on top of a nearby hotel the sound of which can be heard every few minutes when standing across the harbour at the Spirit of Lekwammen totem pole. Most people probably just think it’s a bird said Pfeiffer, but once you notice it, it’s impossible not to hear.
Having reached out to Victoria city councillors multiple times already, Pfeiffer is hoping to have council amend its noise bylaw to limit the use of audible bird deterring devices.
In Abbotsford, the audible devices must be located a minimum of 100 metres away from adjacent dwellings unless the surrounding owners have given permission otherwise.
Pfeiffer emphasized that other bird deterring solutions exist.
Predator kites, for example, can be flown above a building to scare off other birds.
He said he hopes once the provincial election is over, councillors will respond to his request and finally put an end to the Bayview Squawker.
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