Noise By-Law

One person's meat is another man's potatoes, as they say. So what one person considers reasonable noise might be considered a horrendous racket to another. In our society, we have laws to carefully balance the rights of one person against the rights of the others. No subject seems as controversial as noise (especially at the lake) and so the Town of Huntsville has a Noise Bylaw to clearly define what our segment of society considers an acceptable trespass against the rights of people to peacefully enjoy their property.

 The two key clauses are:

2.1 No person or owner shall emit, cause or permit the emission of noise, which is clearly audible to a person at a point of reception, resulting from an act listed in Schedule 1 - prohibitions within the prohibited time shown for such an act.

and

2.2 No person or owner shall emit, cause or permit the emission of noise, which by its unreasonably long duration and/or intensity disrupts the normal living or working environment of a person at a point of reception, resulting from an act listed in Schedule 1 - Prohibitions, regardless of the prohibited time as listed.

Note that the noise level or distance from the source are not specifically defined -- the noise just has to be "clearly audible".  Since sound carries so well over water, and echoes so well off the surrounding shoreline, we may not realize just how loud our sounds are even at the opposite shore! 

 There are, of course, exemptions. Some, like Public safety for example, are permanent. But any person can apply to Council for a special exemption of limited duration:


4.1 Notwithstanding anything contained in this by-law, any person may make application to Council to be granted an exemption from any of the provisions of this by-law with respect to any source of sound or vibration for which he might be prosecuted and Council, by resolution, may refuse to grant any exemption or may grant the exemption applied for or any exemption of lesser effect and any exemption granted shall specify the time period, not in excess of six (6) months during which it is effective and may contain such terms and conditions as council sees fit.

4.2 In deciding whether to grant the exemption, Council shall give the applicant and any person opposed to the application an opportunity to be heard and may consider such other matters as it sees fit.

4.3 Breach by the applicant of any of the terms or conditions of the exemption shall render the exemption null and void.

The OPP are empowered to enforce they by-law, so if you are having problems after normal business hours (when the Town's By-law Enforcement Officer cannot be reached) you should contact them. That said, most people are pretty reasonable and just don't realize they are bothering someone. So you may find it simpler and easier to just approach your neighbour and explain the problem. 

The full text of the by-law can be viewed at http://www.huntsville.ca/en/DocumentUploads/Bylaws/doc_63433631223823374... and is attached below, but for your convenience, here is the list of restricted noises and the times of restriction:

THE CORPORATION OF THE TOWN OF HUNTSVILLE
By-Law # 2008 -33
SCHEDULE 1

 Prohibitions  Prohibited Period of Time
 1. The operation of any electronic devices intended for the production, reproduction or amplification of sound.
 23 00 one day to 07 00 the next day
 2. The operation of any auditory signaling device, including but not limited to the ringing of bells or gongs and the blowing of horns or sirens or whistles, or the production, reproduction or amplification of any similar sounds by electronic means except where required or authorized by law or in accordance with good safety practices. 23 00 one day to 07 00 the next day 
 3. All selling or advertising by shouting, outcry or amplified sound.  21 00 one day to 07 00 the next day
 4. The operation of any construction equipment or in connection with construction.  21 00 one day (1200 on Sundays) to 07 00 the next day
 5. The operation of combustion engine which is used in, or is intended for use in a toy or model or replica of a larger device, which model or replica has no function other than amusement and which is not a conveyance.  23 00 one day to 07 00 the next day
 6. The operation of any motorized conveyance other than on a highway or authorized snowmobile trail.  23 00 one day to 07 00 the next day
 7. Persistent barking, whining or other similar persistent noise making by a domestic pet.  1900 one day to 07 00 the next day
 8. The operation of any powered or non-powered tool, equipment or appliance for domestic purposes other than snow removal.  23 00 one day to 07 00 the next day
 9. The operation of solid waste bulk lift or refuse compacting equipment. 1900 one day to 07 00 the next day 
 10. Yelling, shouting, hooting or hollering. 23 00 one day to 07 00 the next day 
 11. Loud playing of musical instruments. 21 00 one day to 09 00 the next day 
 12. The detonation of fireworks or explosive devices not used in construction. 23 00 one day to 18 00 the next day 

 

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