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Langford residents’ complaints about construction noise on the rise

The city partly attributes warm weather and open windows to the rise in complaints
A construction worker at a site in Langford. (Black Press Media file photo)

Construction noise complaints have increased in Langford, which the city says is partly due to warmer weather and more people keeping their windows open.

A construction noise bylaw was adopted by Langford council in May. Since then, 49 complaints have been received from residents. Nine were deemed unfounded, two complainants could not pinpoint the source, and eight involved music or loud conversations from construction sites.

Those complaints are part of a trend which has seen a rise in noise complaints from residents over the past few years, according to a city spokesperson, partly due to warmer weather, which means more people keeping their windows open during the daytime.

READ MORE: Summer construction projects leaving Langford residents in the dust

“This has been a standard experience in the many years before the adoption of the revised noise regulation bylaw, so it’s difficult to conclude the arrival of the bylaw has brought an increase in complaints,” a city spokesperson wrote in an email.

“However, residents have expressed great satisfaction with the bylaw team’s responses, attendances and the outcomes of our engagement and education with site supervisors at the many projects underway in the community.”

The spokesperson added that new workers often arrive on a site at different points during a project’s development, which can mean some aren’t up to speed with the new bylaw rules. In those instances, the spokesperson said the city hasn’t issued punishments because “compliance is very readily forthcoming.”

The construction noise bylaw came into effect on May 16. It tightened restrictions on when construction companies could do specific tasks – with most work barred on Sundays and statutory holidays and blasting and rock breaking prohibited on weekends. Fines for construction noise range between $500 and $700.

An exemptions process had been built into the bylaw, allowing construction companies to apply if they wanted to circumvent the restrictions. Only three applications have been submitted so far. None have been approved.

Residents bringing up concerns about construction noise, fears of green space loss, and the speed of development has become commonplace during city council meetings.

Langford resident Ian Phillips said the city had been quite responsive when complaining about the dust on Myles Mansell Road.

A water truck was sent, but the dust has since returned, and that, combined with the noise, has been a problem all summer.

Phillips said it shouldn’t be up to residents to complain, but the city should support those with concerns more.

“It’s not an us versus them (situation); it’s a ‘let’s look at this holistically and find something we can all live with,’” Phillips said in a previous interview with Black Press Media.

READ MORE: Companies seeking exemption from construction noise bylaw may be charged in Langford

READ MORE: No construction noise exemptions yet granted in Langford


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