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Port Moody councillor wants city to get tougher on construction noise

Steve Milani says new rules would bring it in line with neighbouring communities.
Port Moody councillor Steve Milani says construction noise is disturbing the peace of city residents.

Is Port Moody peaceful enough?

At least one city councillor doesn’t think so.

Steve Milani wants the city to tighten the hours construction is allowed to occur to “improve the quality of life for Port Moody residents.”

Currently construction noise is permitted between the hours of 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.. It's also permitted on Sundays and statutory holidays if the work isn't for profit.

In a report Milani plans to present to council on Tuesday, he states that “these long hours of continuous noise do not allow sufficient time for residents to experience peace in their day.” He’s recommending the hours be reduced to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and that no construction be allowed on Sundays and statutory holidays.

Milani said those hours are similar to restrictions in other communities: Port Coquitlam allows weekday construction to occur between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.; the Township of Langley and the District of North Vancouver allow construction on Saturday’s to occur between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.; and several cities, like Vancouver, Burnaby, Port Coquitlam and North Vancouver, prohibit construction activity on Sundays and statutory holidays.

Milani said there’s plenty of scientific evidence that documents the harmful effects noise can have on people’s mental and physical well-being, which are already being stressed by the COVID-19 pandemic. He added councillors regularly hear complaints from residents about construction noise in their neighbourhoods.

To give the restrictions teeth, Milani suggests fines of $500 for each hour a construction crew breaches the rules for up to 12 hours, and $1,000 an hour after that. He said council should also be the final arbiter in granting any exemptions.