A local couple told city council last night that noise from shipping operations across the street from their South Terrace residence has kept them awake half the night for the last year and a half.
After attempting to address the issue with the staff at the Canadian Freightways building near the corner of Feeney and Kalum, as well Terrace city staff, Eduino Carreiro petitioned council directly last night.
Carreiro describes the truck activity by his 4531 Feeney residence as “unbelievably noisy”, saying that he and his wife “can’t sleep past 1:30 in the morning.”
“Vans show up, lights shine in the window,” he said. “I’ve had bay doors slammed in my face.”
Carreiro said that Feeney Ave. has become one of the busiest places in Terrace, and that he thinks the city’s noise bylaw should apply in this case to the commercial operators who work out of a building beside his house in a residential neighbourhood.
“It’s taken a physical, emotional, and psychological toll on us… they should be responsible for building some sound and light barriers and show some sense of community accountability,” said Carreiro.
In the past, he said, Canadian Freightways had responded for a period of time by parking their trucks on the north side of their building, which lowered the level of noise, however soon this changed, and then another company moved in called Loomis Express, which also has bright and loud night operations.
This presentation by the distressed resident created a debate between council and staff, and tied into the growing theme of how to handle the expansion of busy commercial work in the Keith district.
Director of development services David Block said that the particular building has been operating there for several decades and that, even though new building bylaws require buffer zones be set up between new developments and adjacent properties, the city can’t force Loomis Express or the other Feeney Ave. businesses to comply because the building they operate from predates the law.
The city’s noise bylaw, which has stipulations mainly for residential zones, according to Block, states that if the use of a property changes then the new building codes would apply, but Block said that doesn’t necessarily include increased activity.
Mayor Dave Pernarowski suggested that “more use means a change in activity,” and so the noise bylaw could be interpreted to apply in the case of more delivery trucks and forklifts (the late night operation of which Carreiro said was the main problem).
“We don’t have the authority to say what hours they can operate in that zone,” David Block added in his explanation of why cracking down on the noise wasn’t within the city’s power.
But Carreiro then backed Pernarowski by saying there are now five businesses operating out of one building, which could be interpreted as a change in use.
“I’m not one for discouraging business,” said councillor Marylin Davies, “but there must be some cooperation on their behalf.”
Block responded that a letter was sent out Nov. 5 to the company in question.
With regard to the city’s noise bylaw, councillor James Cordeiro said that “the spirit of the bylaw is to have peaceful occupation of their property.”
“Sleep is a direct heath impact,” added councillor Stacey Tyers.
Councillor Lynn Christiansen also weighed in, arguing that the rise in noise from increased development in the southeast end of the city is a sign of things to come as the Northwest economy grows.
“We have to navigate these things because they will happen more and more,” said Christiansen.
In the end, with the support of councillor Brian Downie, a motion was passed to have city staff come up with several recommendations about how the noise issue could be resolved on Feeney.
Pernarowski said this could include changing the noise bylaw to include noise from commercial operations.