A southside resident who has been complaining for years about noise from an adjacent industrial yard used by shipping companies on the corner of Feeney and South Kalum was back at city council last week arguing that measures the company has taken to curb sound have fallen short.
In response to Ed Carreiro’s complaints about noise and light late at night and into the early morning hours, the shipping company TransForce said it has made some adjustments.
“Our response is we have done a number of things, we have changed the angles of the lights, we’ve put baffles in to create a sound barrier, and the amount of vehicles going through has gone down,” said company official Rick Leckner.
He added that another company, Bandstra, is also working out of the yard now, so Carreiro should complain to them too.
Carreiro told council Jan. 26 that the city should enforce its noise bylaw, despite the fact that shipping companies have been at the location for years before the city brought in its noise bylaw.
TransForce, which closed its Canadian Freightways subsidiary at the location last year but which continues to operates its Loomis subsidiary from that location, was “grandfathered in” when noise bylaws were put in place and thus does not have to follow the particular rules.
City staffers told council that the noise bylaw will be up for review soon and will have rules governing areas where residential and other zones meet such as this one.
They also said the matter is finding a balance so that transportation workers have the light they need to work at night.
“TransForce and Loomis are corporate bullies being aided by Mr. Block,” said Carreiro about his dealings with the TransForce subsidiary and city development services director David Block.
Carreiro says the adjustments the company has made – including adding strips of plastic to the fence and fixing the floodlight – haven’t helped. He and his wife still endure interrupted sleep on a regular basis during the overnight hours.
“TransForce needs to be held accountable and council has to have the guts to enforce their own bylaws,” said Carreiro.
“I think it should be looked at seriously because these people persevere year after year and put up with it. It’s ridiculous,” said councillor Lynne Christiansen following Carreiro’s presentation.
Mayor Carol Leclerc said Walmart had to make adjustments to its original lighting when it moved into town.
And councillor Stacey Tyers suggested that a floodlight being used be erected on a separate poll facing away from the affected residences.
But Leckner said his company has done all it plans to do in response to the complaint.
“We are zoned correctly and are not breaking any laws … He chose to live next to an industrial zone, so we can’t help [that],” said Leckner of Carreiro.
Leckner added that he feels sorry for Carreiro but that the company has done all it is willing to.
Carreiro came to council in 2013 with a petition signed by 39 residents, however his one immediate neighbour, Adam Koepke, says noise and light has never been a problem for him.
The 1985 noise bylaw provides for a maximum of $2,000 fine per incident for noise violation.
“‘Noise’ is sound including any loud outcry, amplified voice or music, noise created by an animal, clamour, shouting, or that created by construction activity or motors or equipment which disturbs or tends to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of the neighbourhood in which the sound is received or of persons in the vicinity of the area in which the sound is received,” reads the bylaw.
A noise bylaw upgrade is one of a series of city moves to update a number of its governing bylaws.