Board of Trustees looks at amending noise ordinance’s quiet hours

Board+of+Trustees+looks+at+amending+noise+ordinance%E2%80%99s+quiet+hours

By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

Changes may be in order for Grantwood’s noise ordinance after the Board of Trustees discussed changing quiet hours and decibel limits at the July 20 meeting.

The current ordinance allows for noise between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., with construction noise starting at 8 a.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. on weekends. Lawn mowers can be used starting at 8 a.m. any day and snowblowers have no time limit. 

Proposed changes include moving the night limit to 11 p.m. and allowing construction to start one hour earlier every day. Some of these changes are based on Frontenac’s noise ordinance. 

Chairman Kevin Kelso said he doesn’t like the change to 11 p.m. because the noise could interfere with sleep for people who work in the morning.

“I don’t see why it should be later than 10 o’clock at night during the week because people do have to get up for work, I know I’m up at four in the morning,” Kelso said. “I don’t see the intent during the week.”

Resident Susan Rohde said she agrees with Kelso about keeping the limit at 10 p.m.

Building Commissioner Kurt Voss recommended the trustees implement a permit process for people to throw parties during special events.

“Wouldn’t this be an opportunity to maybe allow a permitting process if someone wants to have a particular party? When the Blues make it to the Stanley Cup Finals again couldn’t the trustees grant a pass for the village?” Voss said. “Just like we permit parking on the street, if someone’s going to have a party here’s a permit.”

Mark Kienstra, public works commissioner, said he wasn’t comfortable amending the bill just yet until he could measure decibel readings of different potential noise makers, like people talking. He said typically Grantwood Village lot widths are smaller than Frontenac, so that could play a part in any changes.

“I’d like to … get a decibel meter and find out how loud these measurements we’re talking about are. I don’t know that I could identify a noise of 65 or 70 decibels,” Kienstra said. “Frontenac has a little larger lot sizes so I’d like to have some time between now and the next meeting to conduct some experiments. We can stand around a residence … and just get a good understanding of what these decibel readings mean.”

Frontenac’s ordinance mentions specific decibel limits for each time of day, and Kienstra said he would like to hear those levels before making a decision.

The board tabled the bill until its next meeting.