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Bylaw No. 2687-2017

Sound Regulation Bylaw, 2017

Consolidated and printed by authority of the Corporate Officer under section 139 of the Community Charter. Includes amendment bylaws 3063-2020 . Last amended August 31, 2020

Contents
 1 Citation
 2 Interpretation
 3 Determining presence of Tonal Sound
 4 Quiet District permitted Sound levels
 5 Activity District permitted Sound levels
 6 Summary of districts' permitted Sound levels
 7 Correction factors for Sound levels
 8 Sound disturbing neighbourhood
 9 Prohibited types of Sound
 10 Power Equipment
 11 Construction
 12 Repeat Nuisance Service Calls
 13 Exemptions specified
 14 Exemptions by permission
 15 Appeal of decision
 16 Repealed
Schedule "A"
Schedule "B"

The Council of the City of Abbotsford, in open meeting assembled, ENACTS AS FOLLOWS:

Citation

1   Bylaw No. 2687-2017 may be cited as "Sound Regulation Bylaw, 2017".

Interpretation

2   (a) Schedule "A" contains definitions of terms used in this Bylaw.

(b) Unless otherwise provided in this Bylaw, words and phrases used herein have the same meanings as in the Community Charter, SBC 2003 ("Community Charter"), Local Government Act, RSBC 2015 ("Local Government Act"), and Interpretation Act, RSBC 1996 ("Interpretation Act"), or as the context and circumstances may require.

(c) Where an abbreviation or technical standard is used in this Bylaw but is not defined specifically or by context, it should be interpreted by reference to the definitions and technical standards published by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), the American Standards Institute (ANSI), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) or the International Electro-Technical Commission (IEC), as applicable and, unless the context otherwise requires.

(d) A reference to a statute refers to a statute of the Province of British Columbia, and a reference to any statute, regulation or bylaw refers to that enactment, as amended or replaced from time to time.

(e) Words in the singular include the plural and gender specific terms include both genders and corporations.

(f) Headings in this Bylaw are for convenience only and must not be construed as defining, or in any way limiting the scope or intent of this Bylaw.

(g) If any part of this Bylaw is held to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the invalid part is severed and the remainder continues to be valid.

Determining presence of Tonal Sound

3   For the purposes of the administration and enforcement of this Bylaw, the presence of Tonal Sound may be determined by conducting a one-third octave band Frequency Analysis of the noise (from 31.5 Hz. to 16 kHz.); and applying the following criteria if Tonal Sound is suspected but is not obvious:

(a) the level of the one-third octave band under consideration, or, in the case of a pair of octave bands, the arithmetic average of the levels of these two (2) octave bands, is more than 1 dB higher than the level of each of the adjacent octave bands on either side of the octave band, or pair of octave bands, under consideration, and

(b) the difference between the level of the one-third octave band under consideration, or, in the case of a pair of octave bands, the arithmetic average of the levels of the two (2) octave bands, and the arithmetic average of the two (2) adjacent octave bands on either side of the octave band or pair of octave bands under consideration, is 3 dB or more.

Quiet District permitted Sound levels

4   In a Quiet District, a person must not make, cause or permit to be made or caused, any Sound that, when measured with an Approved Sound Meter over a Representative Time Period, has an Equivalent Sound Level, or Leq, which:

(a) during the Daytime exceeds

(i) 55 dBA or 70 dBC when received at a Point of Reception in a Quiet District; or

(ii) 60 dBA or 70 dBC when received at a Point of Reception in an Activity District; or

(b) during the Nighttime exceeds

(i) 45 dBA or 65 dBC when received at a Point of Reception in a Quiet District; or

(ii) 60 dBA or 65 dBC when received at a Point of Reception in an Activity District.

Activity District permitted Sound levels

5   In an Activity District a person must not make, cause or permit to be made or caused, any Sound that, when measured with an Approved Sound Meter over a Representative Time Period, has an Equivalent Sound Level, or Leq, which

(a) during the Daytime exceeds

(i) 60 dBA or 70 dBC when received at a Point of Reception in a Quiet District; or

(ii) 70 dBA or 70 dBC when received at a Point of Reception in an Activity District; or

(b) during the Nighttime exceeds

(i) 55 dBA or 65 dBC when received at a Point of Reception in a Quiet District; or

(ii) 70 dBA or 65 dBC when received at a Point of Reception in an Activity District.

Summary of districts' permitted Sound levels

6   For convenience, the Sound limits set out in Sections 4 to 5 are summarized in the Table in Schedule "B".

Correction factors for Sound levels

7   For all purposes under this Bylaw, when assessing a Sound relative to the limits set out in Sections 4 and 5, the following correction factors must be applied to the measured Equivalent Sound Level whenever the Sound has, as a defining characteristic, impulsiveness, tonality, or persistent intermittency:

(a) Impulsive Sound: a +5 dB correction if the Sound under consideration is impulsive in character;

(b) Tonal Sound: a +5 dB correction if the Sound under consideration is tonal (i.e., it contains one or more pure tone components);

(c) in order for the tonality correction to apply if measurement is required to determine the presence of tonality, the level in the one-third octave band containing the tone, or the arithmetic average of the levels in a pair of octave bands containing the tone, must exceed the arithmetic average of the two (2) adjacent octave bands

(i) by 3 dB or more for tones in the 500 Hz. to 16 kHz. octave bands,

(ii) by 5 dB or more for tones in the 160 Hz. to 400 Hz. octave bands, and

(iii) by 10 dB or more for tones in the 31.5 Hz. to 125 Hz. octave bands;

(d) Intermittent Sound: a +5 dB correction if the Sound under consideration is persistently intermittent;

(e) Multiple Corrections: a correction equal to the sum of the corrections set out in Subsections (a) to (d), as applicable, that the Sound possesses to a maximum of 10 dB.

Sound disturbing neighbourhood

8   (a) Subject to the other provisions of this Bylaw, a person:

(i) must not make or cause a noise or Sound in a Roadway, Park or similar public place which disturbs or tends to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of persons in the neighbourhood or vicinity;

(ii) who is the owner or occupier of, or is in possession or control of, real property must not make, suffer, or permit any other person to make, a Sound, on that real property, which can be easily heard by a person not on the same Premises; and which disturbs or tends to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of persons in the neighbourhood or vicinity.

(b) Subsection (a) does not apply if a Sound level may practically be measured and the Sound level is in compliance with this Bylaw.

Prohibited types of Sound

9   (a) Without limiting the generality of this Section, the following conduct is specifically prohibited:

(ii) shouting, using a megaphone or Sound amplification device, or making other noise in, at or on, Roadways, Parks, bus stations, or other public places;

(iii) the playing of any radio, phonograph, cassette or CD player, television, musical instrument or Sound amplification device, whether in or upon a private Premises, or in any public place, at such a volume as to disturb, or tend to disturb, the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of a Person or the public;

(iv) the operation of any Motor Vehicle, truck, Motorcycle, bus or other motorized vehicle which by reason of disrepair, mode of operation of the Motor Vehicle, over-revving of engine or excessive acceleration of a Motor Vehicle, or any other cause, creates noise or Sound which disturbs or tends to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of a Person or the public;

(v) the Sound of a horn, or other warning device, on a Motor Vehicle used for any purpose, other than as an audible warning incidental to the safe operation of the Motor Vehicle; or

(vi) the Sound of a brake or other type of engine brake on a Motor Vehicle used or operated for any purpose other than as an emergency braking device incidental to the safe operation of the Motor Vehicle.

(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to a person who makes, causes, or permits to be made or caused, a Sound or noise in compliance with the provisions of Sections 4 and 5, unless the noise or Sound is clearly audible at a Point of Reception in a residential area between the hours of 10:00 p.m. one day and 7:00 a.m. the following day.

Power Equipment

10   Despite any other provision of this Bylaw, a person may, when using or operating Power Equipment between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., make or cause a Sound that exceeds the Sound level limits set out in Sections 4 and 5. If the Equivalent Sound Level does not exceed 75 dBA, on an Approved Sound Meter, when received at the greater of the following distances from that Power Equipment:

(a) at the Point of Reception; or

(b) 15.2 m (50 ft.).

Construction

11   (a) A person must not at any time, in or adjacent to Residential Premises, make or cause Sound resulting from Construction, the Equivalent Sound Level of which exceeds 85 dBA on an Approved Sound Meter when measured at the greater of the following distances from that source of Sound:

(i) at the Point of Reception; or

(ii) 15.2 m (50 ft.).

(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to Construction work carried out within a Roadway.

(c) Subject to Subsection (a), a person may carry out any Construction that disturbs the quiet, peace, rest or enjoyment of a Person or the public, only

(i) between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on any day from Monday to Saturday when such day is not a Holiday;

(ii) between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on any Sunday or statutory Holiday.

Repeat Nuisance Service Calls

12   (a) Where the Police or other City officials are required to respond to a Real Property for:

(i) more than one (1) Nuisance Service Call within a 24 hour period; or

(ii) more than three (3) Nuisance Service Calls within a 12 month period;

the owner of the Real Property must pay an Excessive Nuisance Abatement Fee in accordance with the amounts prescribed in the City's Fees and Charges Bylaw, 2006, for each additional Nuisance Service Call responded to at that same Real Property within the 12 month period following the date of the Manager's notice referred to in Section 12 (f).

(b) Despite Section 12 (d), where legal title to a Real Property is transferred, Nuisance Service Calls made before the date that the new owner obtains legal title to the Real Property may not apply to a determination under Section 12 (d) of whether Excessive Nuisance Abatement Fees are payable. The new owner is, in any event, liable for all unpaid Excessive Nuisance Fees imposed against the Real Property in respect of past Nuisance Service Calls.

(d) Before imposing an Excessive Nuisance Abatement Fee, the Manager will first provide written notice to the owner of the Real Property:

(i) describing in reasonable detail the nature of the nuisance conduct, activity or condition that occurred, or was maintained or permitted in, on or near the Real Property; and

(ii) advising the owner that Excessive Nuisance Abatement Fees will be imposed for each additional Nuisance Service Call to the same Real Property and that the imposition of such fees is in addition to the City's right to seek other legal remedies or actions for abatement of the nuisance.

(e) Service of the notice referred to in Section 12 (f) will be sufficient if the notice:

(i) in the case of service on an individual, is served personally or mailed by prepaid registered mail to the address of the owner shown on the current year's real property assessment roll for the Real Property for which the notice is issued;

(ii) in the case of service on a corporation, is served personally on a director, officer or manager of the corporation or by leaving it at or mailing it by prepaid registered mail to the registered office of the corporation.

(f) Excessive Nuisance Abatement Fees must be paid by the owner on receipt of an invoice from the City. If the amount of each invoice is not paid in full before the 31st day of December in the year received, on written notice to the owner, the amount will be added to and form part of the taxes on the Real Property, as taxes in arrears.

(g) An owner may, within 30 days of receipt of an invoice demanding payment of Excessive Nuisance Abatement Fees, require that Council reconsider the requirement to pay the Excessive Nuisance Abatement Fees, at which time the owner of the Real Property shall have an opportunity to be heard by Council.

Exemptions specified

13   (a) This Bylaw does not apply to:

(i) a Motor Vehicle of the Police or Fire Department, or an ambulance or other public service or emergency Motor Vehicle while engaged in a service of the public convenience or necessity;

(ii) the sounding of a horn or other signaling device upon any Motor Vehicle, boat, or train where such sounding is properly and necessarily used as a danger or warning signal;

(iii) the use, in a reasonable manner, of an apparatus or mechanism for the amplification of the voice or music in a residential area, Park, public facility or square in connection with a public meeting, public celebration, athletic or sports event or other public gathering, if:

(A) that gathering is held under a permit issued under the City's Outdoor Special Event, Filming and Activities Bylaw, 2016,

(B) that gathering has received prior approval under Section 14; or

(C) if the noise produced by that gathering does not exceed 90 dB when received at a Point of Reception or such other lower Sound level specified in the permit or approval;

(iv) the use of bells, chimes, or other calls to worship by religious institutions, and the use of carillons, where such carillons have been lawfully erected;

(v) a parade, procession, performance, concert, ceremony, event, gathering or meeting in or on a Roadway or public space, if that is permitted in the City under a bylaw or statute;

(vi) maintenance and activities of, Abbotsford School District #34, Abbotsford independent schools, and their employees, agents and contractors;

(vii) a Sound resulting from the use, in a reasonable manner, of the Premises of a Community Care Facility duly licensed under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act, SBC 2002, or from the use of a similar institution;

(viii) a garbage collection service

(A) between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. on a Monday to Saturday;

(B) between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on a Sunday or Holiday;

(viii) municipal works including, but not limited to, the construction, repair, and maintenance of Roadways, Parks, buildings, or any other City infrastructure or underground services;

(ix) the emergency repair of a public utility or Roadway by a utility company or by the City or its contractors;

(x) public transit or aeronautics;

(xi) normal farm practices on a farm operation as defined by and protected by the Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act, RSBC 1996; or

(xii) an occupant of a strata unit or rental unit where the Point of Reception is within the same real property.

Exemptions by permission

14   (a) A person may submit an Application for a Construction Sound variance Exemption to the Chief Building Official if it is impossible or impractical to comply with Sections 11 (a) or (c).

(b) An Application for an Exemption for Construction work, containing information as required by the Chief Building Official must be submitted to the Chief Building Official at least ten (10) business days before Construction work begins. An Application for an Exemption for Construction work is subject to a non-refundable Application fee, as set out in the City's Fees and Charges Bylaw, 2006.

(c) The Chief Building Official may refuse the application, or may approve the variance and determine the terms and conditions of an Exemption under this subsection.

Appeal of decision

15   (a) A person who is subject to a decision or direction of the Chief Building Official or Manager may request a reconsideration of that decision or direction by Council, in accordance with the City's Appeal Procedure Bylaw, 2016.

(b) An Applicant who has submitted a request for reconsideration must not continue with Construction in contravention of this Bylaw pending the decision of Council, and any person who is subject to a decision of Council under this Section must comply with any requirements, conditions, restrictions imposed through that decision.

Repealed

16   [Repealed, B/L 3063-2020.]

READ A FIRST TIME on May 8, 2017 READ A SECOND TIME on May 8, 2017 READ A THIRD TIME on May 8, 2017 ADOPTED on May 10, 2017

Schedule "A"

Definitions

In this Bylaw, unless the context otherwise requires:

"Activity District" means those areas within the City with a zone permitting industrial or commercial use and defined as such in the City's Zoning Bylaw, 2014.

"Applicant" means a person submitting an Application.

"Application" means a request for an Exemption.

"Approved Sound Meter" means an instrument which is capable of measuring levels of Sound pressure in accordance with the minimum requirements for Type 2 (general purpose) Sound level meters as specified in ANSI S1.4 [1983], IEC 651 [1979] and IEC 804 [1984] standards.

"Chief Building Official" has the same meaning as set out in the City's Building Bylaw, 2016.

"City" means the City of Abbotsford.

"Construction" includes:

(a) the erection, alteration, repair, relocation, dismantling, demolition and removal of a building;

(b) structural maintenance, power-washing, painting, land clearing, earth moving, earth compacting, grading, excavating, the laying of pipe and conduit (whether above or below ground), Roadway or road building and repair, concrete placement, and the installation, or removal of construction equipment, components and materials in any form or for any purpose; or

(c) any work being done in connection with any of the work listed in Paragraphs (a) or (b).

"Commercial Premises" means Premises used to sell, or offer for sale, goods or services.

"Community Care Facility" has the same meaning as "Congregate Apartment" and "Personal Care" as set out in the City's Zoning Bylaw, 2014.

"Council" means the Council of the City.

"Daytime" means:

(a) from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on a week day or Saturday; and

(b) from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on a Sunday or Holiday.

"dB" means a decibel which is a unit of level which denotes the ratio between two quantities that are proportional to power, the number of decibels corresponding to the ratio of two amounts of power is 10 times the logarithm to the base 10 of this ratio.

"dBA" means the sound pressure level in decibels measured using the "A" weighting network setting of an approved sound meter.

"dBC" means the sound pressure level in decibels measured using the "C" weighting network setting of an approved sound meter.

"Equivalent Sound Level or Leq" means that constant or steady A-weighted Sound Level which, in a given situation and time period, conveys the same Sound energy as does the actual time-varying A-weighted Sound Level, where Leq is measured using an integrating approved Sound meter meeting ANSI S1.4 [1983], IEC 651 [1979] and IEC 804 [1984] specifications.

"Excessive Nuisance Abatement Fees" include, but are not limited to the following costs and expenses incurred while responding to a Nuisance Service Call for the purpose of abating nuisance conduct, activity or condition:

(1) the cost of Police and City staff salaries, including all fringe benefits;

(2) the cost of using City, Police and Fire Department equipment and vehicles;

(3) the administration costs incurred by the City to respond to a Nuisance Service Call and abate a nuisance; and

(4) the cost of repairs to damaged City equipment, vehicles or property.

"Exemption" means an exemption from the provisions of this Bylaw.

"Fire Department" means the City's Fire Rescue Service Department.

"Frequency Analysis" means the separation of Sound into its various frequency components using an instrument such as a real-time analyzer.

"Holiday" means

(a) Sunday, Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Monday;

(b) Canada Day, Victoria Day, British Columbia Day, Labour Day, Remembrance Day, Family Day and New Year's Day;

(c) December 26;

(d) a day set by the Parliament of Canada or by the Legislature, or appointed by proclamation of the Governor General or the Lieutenant Governor, to be observed as a day of general prayer or mourning, a day of public rejoicing or thanksgiving, a day for celebrating the birthday of the reigning Sovereign, or as a public holiday; and

(e) the day named in lieu of a day that is named in Paragraph (a) and that falls on a Saturday, Sunday of the following Monday.

"Impulsive Sound" means any sound that has the following defining characteristics:

(a) the onset is abrupt and the decay rapid, and

(b) the duration of individual impulses is:

(i) less than one (1) second, and

(ii) brief compared to the occurrence rate.

"Intermittent Sound" means any Sound or noise which is subject to rapid fluctuations in level of 5 dBA or more with the fluctuations occurring with a degree of regularity or repetitiveness at intervals of from three (3) minutes to and including five (5) minutes.

"Large Special Event" has the same meaning as "Special Event Large", as set out in the City's Outdoor Special Event, Filming and Activities Bylaw, 2016.

"Leq" or equivalent continuous Sound pressure level, means that constant or steady Sound level, rounded to the nearest decibel, which, in a specified time period, conveys the same Sound energy as does the actual time-varying Sound level.

"Manager" means the City's Manager, Bylaw Enforcement, or designate.

"Motorcycle" has the same meaning as in the Motor Vehicle Act, RSBC 1996.

"Motor Vehicle" has the same meaning as in the Motor Vehicle Act, RSBC 1996.

"Nighttime" means any time not included within the definition of Daytime.

"Nuisance Service Call" means a City or Police response to and abatement of any activity, conduct or condition occurring on or near Real Property which substantially and unreasonably interferes with another Person's use and enjoyment of a public place or of Real Property occupied by that Person, or which causes injury to the health, comfort or convenience of an occupier of Real Property and which is caused by or arises from a Person's failure to comply with the requirements of this Bylaw.

"Park" has the same meaning as set out in the City's Parks Bylaw, 2016.

"Person" includes a natural Person, a company, corporation, partnership, firm, association, society, or party and the personal or other legal representatives of a Person to whom the context can apply according to law;

"Point of Reception" means a position that:

(a) is within the property line of the real property occupied by the recipient of a noise or Sound,

(b) is located at least 1.2 m above the surface of the ground, and

(c) best represents the location at which the noise or Sound, emanating from another property, is received and the resulting disturbance experienced; or

(d) is within six metres outside of the real property from which the sound is emanating

"Police" means the Abbotsford Police Department.

"Power Equipment" means any equipment or machinery used in lawn and garden care or in building and property maintenance, including, but not limited to leaf blowers, edge trimmers, rototillers, lawn mowers, pressure washers, carpet cleaning equipment and hand-operated power tools.

"Premises" means:

(a) the area contained within the boundaries of a legal parcel of land and any building situated within those boundaries, and

(b) that each unit, the common areas of the building, and the land within the apparent boundaries of the lot are each separate Premises where a building contains more than one unit of commercial, industrial or residential occupancy.

"Quiet District" means those areas within the City that are not otherwise designated for, or permits industrial or commercial uses or defined as such in the City's Zoning Bylaw, 2014.

"Real Property" means land, with or without improvements so affixed to the land as to make them in fact and in law a part of the real property and includes, as the context requires, individual premises located on real property.

"Representative Time Period (RTP)" means the noise measurement period over which a sample of the level or character of the Sound under consideration will be taken for the purposes of Sections 4 to 7, according to the following categories of Sound:

(a) for constant Sounds, such as, without limitation, those Sounds produced by fixed-speed fans, heat pumps, pool pumps or other steadily-operating machinery, the RTP is one (1) minute;

(b) for Sounds that fluctuate in level or character in a repeatable fashion over periods of from three (3) seconds to one (1) minute, such as, without limitation, those Sounds produced by industrial or manufacturing processes, the RTP is five (5) minutes;

(c) for Sounds that fluctuate in level or character in a repeatable fashion over periods of from one (1) to five (5) minutes, such as, without limitation, Sounds produced by an air compressor or other cyclical noise sources, the RTP is 15 minutes;

(d) for Sounds that fluctuate in level and/or character in a repeatable fashion over periods of between five (5) and ten (10) minutes, the RTP is 30 minutes;

(e) where several noise sources operate simultaneously, each with its own patterns of operation and or movement, such as, without limitation, in a shipyard or a recycling/materials-handling operation, the RTP is 30 minutes; and

(f) for a noise Source that exhibits significant variations in output over a time period of one (1) hour or more, the RTP is the period known to, or expected to, generate the maximum overall noise levels at the Point of Reception.

"Residential Premises" means any parcel of real property utilized primarily for residential accommodation, and includes hotels and motels.

"Roadway" has the same meaning as set out in the City's Street and Traffic Bylaw, 2006.

"Sound" means an oscillation in pressure in air which can produce the sensation of hearing when incident upon the ear.

"Special Event" has the same meaning as set out in the City's Outdoor Special Event, Filming and Activities Bylaw, 2016.

"Specific Sound" means the Sound under investigation.

"Tonal Sound" means Specific Sound which contains one (1) of more distinguishable, discrete, continuous tones or notes including, without limitation.

(a) specific Sound characterized by a "whine", "hiss", "screech" or "hum"; and

(b) music.

Schedule "B"

Summary of Permitted Sound Levels by Noise District

 

Noise Receiver

 

Quiet District

Activity District

Noise Source

Day

Night

Day

Night

Quiet District

55 dBA

70 dBC

45 dBA

65 dBC

60 dBA

70 dBC

60 dBA

65 dBC

Activity District

60 dBA

70 dBC

55 dBA

65 dBC

70 dBA

70 dBC

70 dBA

65 dBC