Sounds of spring in Senneville
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Senneville council said that noise complaints will be looked into only if residents inform the village administration about the situation.
The advent of warmer spring weather has brought people back out into their backyards, but as two Senneville residents found out recently, a backyard may not be the ideal place to find tranquility especially if noisy neighbours disturb the peace by doing yard work on a Sunday.
The residents directed their complaint to Mayor Jane Guest and the six councillors during the Monday evening council meeting on April 25 that they’ve had to endure constant noise throughout the previous two Sundays from neighbours who used various types of yard machinery.
Councillor Julie Brisebois replied that under the village’s noise by-laws, the only acceptable yard machinery that is allowed on a Sunday are lawn mowers which can be operated only between noon and four p.m.
While the two residents said they would prefer if there was a total noise ban on Sundays, Councillor François Vaqué replied the Sunday lawnmower option is provided to help residents who are working to give them an extra opportunity to maintain their lawns especially if it rains on a Saturday.
Mayor Jane Guest suggested that if the residents feel comfortable, they should approach their neighbours to advise them about the noise restrictions.
“If you know your neighbour well and have a good relationship and if you can do it in a way that you feel comfortable without putting up a wall between you and your neighbour then you do it,” Guest told Your Local Journal. “Some people can handle that and other people just don’t want to go there. Then they fume, get angry and come to a council meeting to express themselves.”
Guest said the situation is somewhat similar to its by-law governing the time when recycling bins can be placed curbside for collection. She said some people, especially people who have recently moved into the area, may not be aware of the town’s by-laws.
“It’s hard, especially if you’re dealing with a new person,” said Guest. “You don’t want to start your relationship by telling them, ‘Oh, by the way...’. On the other hand you can do it in such a way that is very diplomatic to show you’re just being helpful, but again, that’s up to everyone’s comfort zone.
Residents can also opt to file a complaint at town hall, said Guest. “We will handle it if we’re aware of it. An inspector will pop in and tell them there’s been a complaint. We prefer to operate on a complaint basis rather than being a police state. If we don’t know about it, then we’re not going to go out and act all heavy-handed about it.”