Proposed bylaw sets measurable sound levels | DrumhellerMail
Last updateTue, 18 Jun 2024 12pm

Proposed bylaw sets measurable sound levels


    A proposed new community standard bylaw, will have concrete decibel levels written into its noise and disturbance regulations.

    Council has given first reading to the new bylaw, which is designed to take the place of a number of existing regulations including the Nuisance Bylaw, Weed Bylaw and Curfew Bylaw. The bylaw also expands its reach with a number of new provisions.
    “We are making it a user friendly document. It is an amalgamation of a number of bylaws we already have,” said Mayor Terry Yemen.
    One of the biggest changes is the area of noise disturbance. The proposed new bylaw sets measurable noise levels to be abided by.
    “Before the statement was too global. Before it said anything that caused a person an annoyance, was a disturbance. There were no criteria to measure it against, now we have criteria. That is how most of the other towns and cities’ bylaws read,” said Yemen.
    The proposed bylaw sets out levels of continuous sound allowed. The level is set at 65 decibels in the daytime and 50 decibels after 10 p.m. in residential areas.
    In an area where the ambient sound is at or above the maximum level, the sound level must exceed that level by five decibels.
    In the downtown area, the levels are 75 decibels in the daytime and 60 decibels at night, with the same exception for ambient sound.
    For non-continuous sounds, the levels are 85 decibels in the daytime and 75 decibels in the nighttime.
    “The (levels) came from different bylaws from various towns throughout Alberta. We looked at towns of similar size and some cities. There were some tests of ambient sounds of Drumheller,” said Yemen.
    He said the bylaw is adding measurable outcomes to other regulations. For example under the section of weeds and grass, they have set a maximum height of grass at 15 centimetres.
    Other areas the bylaw tweaks is maintenance of buildings structures and fences, storage of appliances, assembly of persons, littering and even addresses bullying.
    Another addition is regulations on having an outdoor fire. The proposed bylaw stipulations include that a fire must be supervised at all times, It provides a list of items that may not be burned, and if it is in an outdoor fire pit or portable fire receptacle, it must be extinguished between 1 a.m. and 10 a.m.
    Typically, bylaw enforcement has been done through a complaint basis. Mayor Yemen says he would like to take a tougher approach.
    “I did hear through the election campaign there are a lot of people who feel this town, and I agree with them, needs to clean-up a little bit,” said Yemen. “We (council) are going to be talking about that too. Proactive or reactive? More reactive in that area.”
    “We (council) are having our first workshop on Monday, and we will be talking about that. From my point of view there is going to be a shift to cleaning up a bit.”
    A copy of the proposed bylaw is available at, or at Town Hall for the public to survey.

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