No exemptions to Langford’s construction noise bylaw have been approved since the bylaw was adopted on May 16.
The bylaw implemented restrictions on when construction could happen, to address residents’ concerns about related noise.
Builders may still apply to the city for an exemption to the bylaw. So far three requests have been submitted, but none have been granted as they did not meet the approval criteria, according to a City of Langford spokesperson.
An amendment to the bylaw that would charge a fee for those applications, to cover staff processing time, passed third reading at the July 18 council meeting. The proposed fee is $500 but increases to $750 if the application is made less than two days before the work is planned.
The bylaw includes a number of restrictions, depending on the type of work being done on-site. It limits exterior construction activities to between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Work can only be done on Sunday if it is limited to inside a building with doors and windows installed and closed, or unloading supplies. Blasting and rock crushing is banned on weekends. Outdoor construction work – apart from unloading equipment – is banned on statutory holidays except when a permit is issued.
Ron Coutre, president of the West Shore Developers Association said it was too early to say what the impacts of the hours restrictions and the application fee would be. He foresaw an effect on companies’ summer work, as the previous bylaw allowed construction noise to continue until sunset, but said such challenges as staff vacation time can also disrupt summer schedules. The association accepted the old bylaw needed to be changed, he added.
Coutre said he is happy to see the bylaw having a positive impact on the public, but also that an exemption process was included, although he didn’t foresee it being used very often.