An Ontario woman is accusing her basketball-playing neighbour of polluting her airspace with unbearable noise, and is asking the province's environmental commissioner to do something about it.
Anne Langdon claims her Peterborough, Ont., residence has been rendered unlivable by the bouncing sounds coming from the basketball court next door.
The National Post reports that Langdon launched an investigation under the Ontario's Environmental Bill of Rights after the city "refused to address" her noise complaints.
According to the Post, Langdon is citing Section 14 of Ontario's Environmental Protection Act, regarding the "impairment of the quality of the natural environment for any use that can be made of it," and "loss of enjoyment of normal use of property."
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It is said to be the first case of its kind in Peterborough, Ont. But, if successful, it may be the first of its kind anywhere in the province.
A search for noise complaints through Ontario's Ministry of the Environment found that a Bobcaygeon dairy farm was recently fined $45,000 and a Halton Hills flour mill was similarly fined $25,000, both in part due to noise violations.
Why hasn't anyone thought of applying this to regular citizens before?
Cigarette smokers who throw butts on the ground are certainly impairing the quality of our natural environment.
Those couples wandering hand-in-hand down the street, blocking us from passing at a normal pace, must receive a citation immediately.
The guy living in the adjacent apartment, who can be heard going to the bathroom at approximately 10 p.m. every evening, is certainly responsible for the loss of enjoyment of normal use of property.
The reaction to Langdon's threat hasn't been exactly overwhelming in its support for the self-described victim.
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Hundreds of comments posted to Peterborough This Week, which first publicized the noise complaint, were strongly in opposition. A petition supporting the targeted neighbours has already received more than 500 signatures.
The newspaper itself decided the whole issue needed to go away, suggesting Langdon simply move to a quieter area.
From a Peterborough This Week opinion column:
Ms Langdon needs a quiet area to work from home and to enjoy her home. While Gilmour Street looked like the perfect tree-lined street for that lifestyle, it's obvious that the ambiance noise of busy children doesn't fit into the picture. After all, her apartment is in the middle of a vibrant city and noise is an inevitable byproduct.
The whole affair brings to mind a recent case in Vancouver, where a condo owner was banned from using his outdoor hot tub and stereo system overnight after a series of noise complaints.
Steve Newell was told by the B.C. Supreme Court that he had to strictly adhere to the noise bylaws related to his 37th-storey penthouse, which he spent $800,000 making awesome.
There was no petition supporting Newell's right to soak.