• John Jantak

St. Lazare council asked to consider adopting noise nuisance bylaw


St. Lazare council was asked by a resident during question period to consider adopting a noise by-law that would restrict lawn mowing to specified hours on weekends.

The sound of neighbours’ lawnmowers being used on late Sunday afternoons has prompted a St. Lazare resident to ask council to consider adopting a noise nuisance by-law to prohibit the practice.

David Mosher told council during question period at the Tuesday evening session on September 1 that the noise situation is especially bothersome when some neighbours begin to mow their lawns after 5 p.m.

“It’s a noise issue”, said Mosher. “There are at least eight to 10 riding mowers around us. I understand that people have to cut their grass. It’s just that there should be some time set aside when there is silence. When its five o’clock on a Sunday afternoon and you have the family coming over for a barbecue, it should be quiet.

“You’re sitting outside and it’s a beautiful day with the burgers ready to be put on the grill when all of sudden you hear the buzz of the lawnmowers,” Mosher added. “This can go for one-and-a-half hours sometimes. All we’re asking for is for council to consider the fact that there should be a silent time and many jurisdictions have adopted these types of bylaws.”

Mosher said neighbouring Vaudreuil-Dorion has a by-law that limits lawn mowing on Sundays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. He added that some West Island municipalities have similar bylaws and at least one town completely bans lawn mowing on Sunday.

“I reject the notion that people have a difficult time to mow during reasonable hours,” said Mosher. “I’m sure people can find the one hour or 90 minutes to do their mowing within a reasonable allotted time during the day. If not, it’s just grass. Let it grow for another week.”

Mosher added there’s a big difference in the noise that comes from overnight snow removal operations during the winter which he says is a necessity, compared to people who mow their lawns at irregular hours during the summer and disturbing their neighbours.

Mayor Robert Grimaudo said this was the first time a noise complaint involving lawn mowing has been brought to council’s attention and that the town will look into the matter and consider whether it’s necessary to implement a noise by-law.

“I don’t know what the pros and the cons are of adopting a noise by-law,” Grimaudo told Your Local Journal after the meeting. “It’s not something that we’ve ever looked into before so I’m a little bit hesitant to say whether I’m for it or against it. I will look into it because I know that it is a problem and it does exist.”

Grimaudo recounted his own personal experiences with neighbours using lawnmowers late on Sunday afternoons around 10 years ago as new houses were being built and more people began moving in the Saddlebrook district. He suggested that residents should try to speak to their neighbours to see if they would be more accommodating by doing their mowing at a more reasonable time.

“I went to visit a lot of my neighbours because people were using their lawnmowers after five o’clock on Saturday and Sunday afternoons,” said Grimaudo. “For me, that’s cocktail hour. So I asked them whether they could pass their lawnmowers at an earlier time instead. Sometimes just talking to your neighbours is effective.

“A no-noise by-law has its advantages and disadvantages,” Grimaudo added. “The advantage is that it gets quiet and that’s good, but we live in a bedroom community. A lot of people work six days a week and their only day off to do their chores around the house is on Sunday. Are we going to start legislating common sense? I don’t think it’s the job of a town council to legislate common sense.”

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