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Builder's association lobbying Kelowna council to stop changes to noise bylaw

Home builders in Kelowna are fighting to maintain construction noise hours on weekends and holidays.

Kelowna city council is currently reviewing options for mitigating construction noise in the city.

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association Central Okanagan said it could make it more difficult to build new homes in Kelowna during the housing crisis.

Construction noise is regulated by the Good Neighbour Bylaw in Kelowna, which currently allows for construction noise between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. seven days a week including holidays.

In the city council meeting on May 13, city staff presented their recommendation for amendments to the bylaw.

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The top recommendation from city staff is to keep the noise allowance hours the same during the week, but reduce the hours on the weekends to 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and ban construction noise on holidays.

The difference would be six hours per a week, and holidays. 

One of the key goals city staff mentioned in their presentation to council was to avoid delays and increased costs for home builders.

Compared to other cities in BC, aside from Kamloops, Kelowna allows far more construction noise.

Cities like Surrey, Vancouver, Victoria and Chilliwack already prohibit construction noise on Sundays, but other cities in the Okanagan like Penticton and West Kelowna have similarly loose restrictions on construction noise.

Under the recommended bylaw amendment Kelowna would still be one of the least restrictive cities in the province when it comes to construction noise.

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The home builders’ association has drafted a letter to city council and is seeking public support for construction noise.

The association’s executive officer Daniel Winer sent an email to it's members and stakeholders today, June 13, calling for public to support.

“We are in a housing crisis, and any changes that reduce the ability for members to complete projects in a timely fashion would have adverse consequences for both industry and those looking to call Kelowna home,” Winer said in a letter to council.

The association also expressed concerns about how the bylaw change could be arbitrarily enforced.

“As this legislation will be policed by neighbours, mayor and council will be enabling the Not-In-My-Backyard (NIMBY) opponents to further delay the new home construction our community desperately needs,” the letter said.

Click here to read the association’s full letter to city council.

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