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Construction industry concerned about plans to amend noise bylaw in Kelowna

With a lot of construction in Kelowna comes a lot of noise.

Wanda Wall lives in a building on the corner of Benvoulin and Springfield Roads and is surrounded by multiple construction projects.

“The noise does bother me if I have my windows open or if I’m outside here,” Wall told Global News.

But now the city council has endorsed in principle plans to restrict when that construction noise can be made.

“Sounds good,” said Jerraine Willis, who also lives in the Springfield/Benvoulin area. “I think the weekends should be ours.”

While construction noise would still be allowed on the weekends, it wouldn’t be as early.

Right now construction noise is allowed from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m., seven days a week.

If the amendments are passed,  construction noise hours would be restricted to between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekends and no construction noise would be allowed on statutory holidays.

“With labour costs and scheduling deadlines, it is a real, real concern,” said Clifford Kshyk, executive director for the Southern Interior Construction Association (SICA).

SICA represents 450 construction companies.

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Kshyk said the changes would have a major impact.

“Number one is, you know, we don’t want to expose our workers to hot summer afternoons and there are regulations with WorkSafeBC on that as well,” Kshyk said. “Secondly, scheduling is very important and we need every hour that we can get and every day. We have labor shortages. We need those extra hours and time to get these projects on track.”

Kshyk also questioned the timing of the restrictions given the urgency to build more homes amid a housing crisis.

“Any further restrictions, you know, in the construction industry will have adverse effects for any goals that the governments or municipalities have on housing or any other projects,” Kshyk said.  “We don’t have a magic wand, you know, to overcome those restrictions.”

He also added that construction delays comes with increased costs.

“With every delay, there is a cost that increases if you have workers standing by because they can’t get on a job because there was another trade that was delayed,” Kshyk said. “It’s a ripple effect.”

Kelowna mayor Tom Dyas said council is trying to strike a balance between development needs and people’s quality of life.

“It is a little bit of a difficult position because as we start to densify more into neighbourhoods, it’s disrupting their day to day life and we need to be aware of that. We need to be responsible with those decisions that we’re making,”  Kelowna mayor Tom Dyas said.  “We will find a balance that strikes a balance and basically giving that peace and enjoyment that you have in your neighbourhood, but at the same time addressing the housing needs and the development that we have within the community.”

Amendments to the noise bylaw will be back before council for approval at a future date.

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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