Decibel limits recommended for Abbotsford noise bylaw

Public unhappy with current, subjective rules

The city is planning to add decibel limits to the noise bylaw.

Most people are unhappy with how noise is regulated in Abbotsford.

At present, there are no objective limits to noise levels in the city, just a ban on noise loud enough to “disturb” residents. According to a recent city survey, 58 per cent of respondents aren’t happy about this and they want things to change.

The city plans to move to an objective decibel limit, but this would cost up to $10,000 to buy meters and train staff.

Momentum to update the bylaw began this summer, when a resident near Enterprise Avenue and McCallum Road told council he was bothered by the constant industrial hum nearby.

This started off consultations with businesses, stakeholders and the public, leading to a decision Monday that decibel limits were definitely the way to go.

According to the public survey, the kinds of noise that bothered people the most included traffic, music and parties, barking dogs, and construction and industrial noise. According to social media commenters, the main concern was noise from idling trucks.

Respondents also wanted to limit industrial noise after midnight, and introduce a defined quiet time.

The current noise bylaw has scheduled times when noise from construction, garbage trucks, power tools, and model airplanes are restricted, but no other time limits.

At Monday’s council meeting, Coun. Moe Gill, whose background includes first-hand experience in large-scale farming, expressed concern that a designated quiet period could hamper agricultural processing plants that run multiple shifts. Council’s consensus in the ensuing discussion was to recommend quiet periods apply to residential areas and neighbouring industry, not heavy industrial areas.

The Township of Langley uses decibel limits in its noise bylaw, with a limit of 55 decibels in residential areas during the day and 45 decibels in residential areas at night. In Chilliwack, the noise bylaw limits noise in industrial areas that border residential areas to 80 decibels during the day and 65 at night.

An increase of 10 decibels makes a sound roughly twice as loud.

City staff will now work on preparing a draft version of a new noise bylaw with decibel limits.

Just Posted

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Fraser Valley developer offering to build barn owl nesting boxes for free

Gore Brothers says anyone with a suitable building can help the threatened raptor

Langley’s oldest and last strip bar shuts its doors

The Alder Inn, in operation since 1957, has reportedly been purchased

Fraser Valley Bandits winless streak hits eight

CEBL club still looking for first-ever franchise victory

Abbotsford posts $29 million cash surplus in 2018

Reserves continue to grow, but finance chief warns more will be needed

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Dinosaur statues from defunct Dinotown theme park stolen in Chilliwack

The dinosaur figures once graced the theme park but were destined for Chilliwack fundraiser

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

Update: Show of support after pride flag was taken down by Township of Langley

Township statement said flag was removed due to “confusion” about whether it was on private property

Most Read