By Kirk Winter

Aaron Sloan, Manager of Municipal Law Enforcement and Licensing, presented a report to City Council on September 10, detailing what they have learned about noise by-law infractions in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

The presentation also suggested some minor alteration of the noise by-law to accommodate for “multi-day events that extend over three days, all day construction activity related to residential or commercial construction, or for municipal activities related to municipal infrastructure and these shall be directed to Council or Committee of the Whole for consideration.”

In 2018, noise-related complaints received by the Municipal Law Enforcement and Licensing Division were as follows. There were 125 in total and they fell into the following categories:

  1. Barking/Howling – 87 complaints

  2. Construction – 13 complaints

  3. Radio/Yelling/Party – 13 complaints

  4. Dirt bike/ vehicle without effective exhaust – 5 complaints

  5. Pump/generator/compressor – 2 complaints

  6. Drums – I complaint

  7. Bagpipes – I complaint

  8. Security alarm – 1 complaint

  9. Delivery truck – 1 complaint

When by-law enforcement people are not available, the City of Kawartha Lakes Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police pick up the slack.

Sloan reported that the Kawartha Lakes Police Service reported 228 calls regarding excessive noise, and their calls were split under five distinct headings:

  1. Residential – 191 complaints

  2. Animal – 18 complaints

  3. Vehicles – 12 reports

  4. Noise by-law in general – 5 complaints

  5. Businesses – 2 complaints

In areas not covered by the CKLPS, the OPP responded to 177 noise related calls, but did not break them down into specific categories like the CKL Police Service did.

When the three different totals were added up the number of noise complaints equal s 530, a considerable number. With roughly 1.5 calls every day, noise by-law regulations are always looking to be fine-tuned and made more effective.

Sloan suggested that for situations where the noise violation was not a onetime-only event but rather daily, like running a generator at an in-town construction site, that those wanting to avoid being fined would have to follow the following procedures:

  1. The exemption paperwork will have to be done at least 45 days before the noise begins

  2. Forms will need to be filled in with By-Law Enforcement

  3. A fee, yet undecided, will have to be paid to gain the exemption

  4. The application will need approval of the appropriate police chief or detachment commander, the fire chief, and the City Departments of Community Services, Developmental Services and Public Works

  5. Neighbours within 5oo meters of the location will also have to sign off on the project by responding directly to By-Law Enforcement

Sloan hoped this new by-law would deal with the myriad of interesting and difficult calls that his people had to deal with in 2018, including the rising phenomenon of individuals who have had their power cut off by Hydro One trying to power their homes on backup generators running for days on end.

The applicant would receive approval or denial within 14 days of filling the paperwork. Sloan concluded his report by suggesting that, “the exemption application process will see a small amount of revenue generation which will be used to offset general enforcement costs and the staff needed to process the exemption applications.”

The Mayor thanked the By-Law people for their hard work, and the report was accepted.

City HallDeb Crossen