Stack: 'I can no longer stay silent'

Kelowna City Councillor Luke Stack raised a bit of a ruckus at Monday's City Council meeting concerning noise.

Stack asked his council colleagues to support a motion to bring Kelowna's stalled noise bylaw to the provincial level.

A year ago, council gave first three readings to a bylaw that would make it an offence within city limits for a motorcycle or motor boat to exceed certain decibel levels.

Stack says the bylaw was not enacted because RCMP Superintendent Bill McKinnon felt it would be hard to administer because offending motorcycles and boats travel throughout the region - not just within Kelowna.

"He felt it wasn't practical to enforce it," stated Stack.

"His (McKinnon's) advice ... was that if we really wanted to do this it has to be done at a provincial level. You have to have the province of BC, under the Motor Vehicle Act, buy into this and make a decision to start enforcing excessive noise." 

The bylaw, as it was adopted by council, would set the threshold at 92 decibels for motorcycles at idle, 96 decibels when motorcycles are up to speed, 90 decibels for car stereos and 85 decibels for boats.

Stack asked that council accept his resolution to bring the question to SILGA (Southern Interior Local Government Association) for debate and, hopefully with its blessing, get it taken to the UBCM (Union of BC Municipalities) convention in the fall and eventually to the provincial government.

"We get a lot of complaints from the public about noisy motorcycles and boats in the summertime and the reason we haven't heard too much this year is because of the season. But, I guarantee in the next month or two we will get lots of complaints," says Stack.

If this was a province-wide regulatory guideline then the RCMP wouldn't have that dilemma. I think that's why Superintendent McKinnon didn't want to advance this without seeing the whole province advance at the same time.

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