TBM residents resist BTI request for noise bylaw exemption

·3 min read

Breaker Technology (BTI) is asking for an exemption to the Town of The Blue Mountains noise bylaw, to allow them to continue outdoor work past 7 p.m.

The Blue Mountains (TBM) existing noise bylaw prohibits construction-related noise between 7 pm and 7 am.

BTI is requesting special permission to generate noise until 11 p.m. Monday to Friday.

The company, which has manufactured mining and construction equipment in TBM for over 60 years, commonly generates noise when moving materials and products to and from their storage yard.

In a deputation to TBM council, BTI General Manager Brad Dickinson said that the exemption would help the company operate efficiently and safely.

“We need that flexibility in order to serve our customers, and keep our employees safe,” he said.

“Currently, in order to stop at 7 p.m. we are bringing an excessive amount of materials into the plant, causing congestion, and we are not able to move finished goods into the yard if it’s completed after 7 p.m.”

Dickinson conceded that the company occasionally generates noise beyond the current bylaw restrictions as a necessity of business, but that there are efforts to keep noise to a minimum.

“We move our materials around as needed,” he said. “We've always been focused, or considerate, to keep these movements to a minimum. But the movements are needed in order for us to efficiently, effectively and safely conduct our business.”

“We will continue to look for opportunities to reduce our noise as we have, and are open to suggestions as well.”

Although Dickinson stated that BTI historically made efforts to accommodate the needs of its residential neighbours, he said nearby residents were not consulted about this request.

“We have not corresponded with our neighbours to indicate we're going forward with this request,” he said.

Several residents who live adjacent to BTI spoke against the company’s request, stating that the current level of noise is disruptive as is.

Alexandra Hall, one of BTI’s neighbours for roughly a year, said that she commonly hears noise well into the night.

“My experience has been that significant noise is generated on a near-daily basis, and often in the evening and overnight.”

On one occasion, she said BTI generated “loud noises after 11 p.m. and into the early evening, due to large equipment moving around, which also created shaking in our home.”

Hall said that she has not been consulted by BTI regarding noise, and that she thinks BTI’s operations are already in contravention of the noise bylaw.

“I have never been directly consulted on any matters by BTI despite them being aware of our multiple noise complaints,” she said.

She said she'd like the town to deny BTI's request.

“Instead I'm requesting the council enforce the current bylaw in undertaking meaningful engagement between BTI and its residential neighbours,” stated Hall.

David Beevor, a neighbour of BTI since 2017, said his family has been experiencing noise-related issues for months, and that he has submitted several videos to council of significant noise occurring between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

He said that the situation as it is has a harmful effect on the neighbourhood.

“It reduces the property value and provides a negative sentiment for people who actually live in the immediate area,” he said.

Council moved to receive the deputations by BTI and its neighbouring residents, and has referred the information to Bylaw Services.

Deputy Mayor Rob Potter stated that while the issue may take some time be resolved, TBM will actively work in consultation with the public to rectify it.

"We have to follow a process and the process is just beginning," he said. "There will be some follow-up on this, we will have a staff report that will be available to you ... The process requires us to engage with the public."

Greg McGrath-Goudie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca

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