Fredericton city council to explore noise reduction bylaw

Fredericton city council has directed city staff to begin exploring a bylaw to limit excessive noise from loud vehicles.

Coun. John MacDermid's motion for a staff report was unanimously approved at the public safety and environment committee meeting Tuesday. 

MacDermid said trucks, bikes and hot rods, among others, are causing disturbances around the city. 

"Every summer it goes on I get more emails," he said. "It frustrates more people, myself included, and I know a lot of my fellow council members."

MacDermid said residents of the city have an expectation that they won't be bombarded by this type of noise. 

"It's a quality of life issue," he said. "It's about being able to enjoy your backyard, your front yard, go for a walk and enjoy parks. Sit on an outdoor patio downtown and not have excessive — and this is really excessive — avoidable noise.

"It's not necessary. It's done strictly for the sake of making noise." 

Moving forward

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Fredericton city council tried to address the issue in 2013 but the proposal was abandoned after it did not receive full support of the council.

MacDermid wasn't on council at the time and said he couldn't speak to what happened then, but said there may be more of an appetite for the discussion now.

"I think ideologies and ideas evolve over time and I think it's the right time to bring it back." 

Coun. Bruce Grandy voted against it in 2013, but on Tuesday he voted to approve the motion from MacDermid.

Enforcement concerns

Grandy said his concern is the same as in 2013: how would such a bylaw be enforced, and how would any enforcement hold up in court. He said six years ago, no one had an answer for him.

Coun. Eric Megarity agreed it's time to draft the bylaw. He suggested modelling it after one that Bathurst had recently  drafted. 

MacDermid tabled a motion for a staff to investigate the options and report back to council, which was approved.

"The appropriate action is to take lessons learned in 2013 and apply them to 2019 and see how the process can be changed so everyone has a voice," said MacDermid.

MacDermid said he hopes a bylaw will be in place by the spring of 2020.