Feedback on council noise

It won't be long before winter melts away making way for spring and the unmistakable sounds of the new season - robins chirping, kids playing and the roar of motorcycles and boats.

Like all invasive sounds, some ring like music to our ears while others are an irritating, unwelcome din.

It all comes down to perspective.

Earlier this week, Kelowna Councillor, Luke Stack again stirred the hornets nest by revisiting a proposed noise bylaw which would make it illegal for boats and motorcycles to surpass a certain decibel level while at idle.

These levels would pertain mostly to motorcycles ands boats which have undergone after purchase modifications.

The proposed bylaw sits at third reading. It was not enacted at the request of RCMP Superintendent, Bill McKinnon, who suggested that a localized bylaw would be tough to enforce as vehicles and vessels move in and out of the municipality on a constant basis.

Stack suggested bringing the bylaw to both the Southern Interior Local Government Association (SILGA) and the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) for support in order to lobby the province to look at a province-wide bylaw.

Castanet readers offered overwhelming support for a province-wide law regulating excessive noise.

A poll earlier this week asked if the province should take the lead in enacting such legislation.

Of the 1,567 people who responded, 79 per cent (1,235) of you said yes, it should be up to the province while 21 per cent (332) said no, presumably that either the municipality should enact the bylaw or there should be no bylaw.

Others took the time to write Castanet after the story was printed, vehemently disagreeing with a law or bylaw curtailing noise levels.

"I totally disagree with the noise bylaw. I ride a motorcycle, it's factory and is a little louder than others. When I ride at night, especially on a warm day, drivers on the road can hear motorcycles better than seeing them, especially at night on a two-lane road both traveling the same way. I plan to install under lights on my bike this year so drivers can see I am a bike and not a car. Do you know how many accidents I have avoided since living in Kelowna? Too many to count - more than 10 at least. Just because I bought a vehicle that makes noise and people complain doesn't mean it's right. You don't see me complaining that there are too many expensive cars on the road that I will not be able to afford. It's bad enough with the drinking law being different than the REST of Canada."

Jeff Taylor

Steve Butler had a slightly different take believing Councillor Stack is singling out certain modes of transportation.

"Let's hope there is an election for councillors before Mr. Stack gets to run his personal vendetta against boats and bikes. I understand that he may feel that noise from only his chosen sources should consume his time on council. I am sure he has convinced himself he will be making Kelowna safer and more productive by targeting only certain modes of transportation. Obviously not all noise is bad - just the types he doesn't like. A warning Kelowna, don't let him get away with a personal/political attack on me, because next time, it will be you that his kind of politics will target."

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