Making noise about noise

Falkland director opposes CSRD communication plan

Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors have approved a communications plan to inform members of the public of a proposed noise bylaw, the purpose of which is primarily to provide the RCMP with ticketing ability for severe noise infractions. FILE PHOTO

Columbia Regional Regional District director Rene Talbot made some noise of his own at the recent board meeting.

The Falkland director took issue with how the regional district plans to inform members of a public noise bylaw.

The main intent of the proposed bylaw is primarily to provide the RCMP with ticketing ability for the most egregious noise-related infractions, most often occurring during the evening/night and summer months.

The bylaw, which has been given first reading, provides prohibitions against individuals or property owners from disturbing others peaceful enjoyment of their property or neighborhood. In short, the bylaw proposes that any loud or disruptive sounds that may be heard by a neighbouring property or other premises in the vicinity be prohibited between the hours of 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Rahter than hold a series of community and potentially costly public meetings, staff proposed using newspaper advertising, social media, webpage on the CSRD’s website, and an online survey to elicit comments.

“Staff are of the opinion that due to the excessive costs of advertising and holding these meetings, and the staff time required, that such public meetings are unnecessary given the straightforward nature of the bylaw,” reads a report presented to directors at the May board meeting, which was held in Revelstoke.

At that meeting, it was decided that development services staff would work with information and technology staff to develop a webpage and survey for the regional district’s website which could be cross posted on social media, and develop newspaper advertisements, online information and a survey.

At the June 15 meeting, directors were asked to support a communications plan for Noise Bylaw No. 5754 to inform the public about the proposed bylaw by developing a Frequently Asked Questions Fact Sheet, with the information to be posted on the CSRD website, social media and available at the CSRD office, prior to considering second reading of the bylaw.

The only one to speak out about the proposal was Talbot, who believes the regional district is shirking its duty to go into the community to hear to share information and answer questions from members of the public.

“It came up at community meeting in Falkland – a great spot to attack me,” he said. “Putting it on social media and our website just doesn’t do it; we need to get back to the community, they are the ones that are paying for that.”

The rest of the board showed no hesitation in approving the communication plan, with only Talbot opposed.