An ad hoc committee made up of the Region of Queens Municipality (RQM) council and district representatives will revisit the recently proposed update to Bylaw 7 – a Bylaw Prohibiting Certain Noises.
“It’s not going to be easy,” said RQM Mayor Darlene Norman at the May 25 council meeting. “It’s a very divisive issue.”
The existing bylaw was adopted by council July 21, 1997.
At their meeting February 23, 2021, RQM council members requested that municipal staff prepare a new, more detailed document with updated language.
The introduction and first reading of the bylaw took place at the April 27th RQM council meeting with councillors sifting through the bylaw line-by-line and making revisions, deleting several lines they thought were unnecessary or problematic.
A revised policy was then made available for public viewing and comment.
“There has been a considerable amount of feedback from residents on both sides of the matter,” said Norman, noting that there were well “over 100” comments made to councillors and staff regarding the issue.
Deputy Mayor Kevin Muise brought forward a motion at the May 25th meeting that an ad hoc committee be formed with input from the RCMP. The committee would include three councillors – Maddie Charlton, Vicki Amirault and David Brown — two members of the public, Bylaw Enforcement Officer Kelley-Anne Hurley and the region’s chief administrative officer, CAO Chris McNeill.
Following discussion among the councillors, the motion was amended to include not just two members of the public, but seven members, one from each district. The RCMP also later said it would not be involved in the committee.
The region will soon begin advertising for residents who may be interested in participating in the committee.
“How the decision will be made about who sits on the committee, I have no idea,” said Norman. “As mayor I support the will of my council and the three councillors involved will be in charge of this committee.”
Once the committee reviews the noise bylaw document, taking into consideration the input from the public, it will make a presentation to the council and the process of approving the document will begin again.
There currently is no timeline for the review and the current bylaw will continue to be used in the meantime.
Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin