Victory in Airport Noise Lawsuit

In the groundbreaking lawsuit filed by Bridgeport residents against the Vancouver Airport Authority, BC Supreme Court Justice Ronald Holmes has ruled that the three residents in this test case have indeed suffered significant losses of both property value and quality of life due to activities on the third runway, and assessed damages of $175,000. He referred to the airport activities as "expropriation of a property interest without compensation."

This victory makes possible a class action suit affecting some 165 other properties. The Airport Authority plans to appeal the ruling. The plaintiffs may also appeal, believing that the judge erred in discounting appraiser testimony when setting damages.

Senator Works Against Jet- Skis

Conservative Senator Mira Spivak has spent the summer on the talk-radio circuit across Canada promoting her private member's bill on simplifying the process by which communities could control or outlaw jet-ski use. Jet-skis have been banned in Switzerland and Lake Tahoe, and are forbidden in most national parks in Canada and the USA. However, local communities do not have the ability to similarly regulate their waterways, as they are a federal jurisdiction. The bill will be studied this fall by the Senate transportation committee.

-Financial Post, August 21, 2001

Vancouver Folk Music Festival

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival, which takes place every year in mid-July at Jericho Park, has provided a chronic source of noise and other disturbance to some nearby residents. The Park Board and festival organizers have, over the years, taken steps to attempt to limit the disruption to the surrounding neighbourhood, but the noise level at the performances seems to be ever growing, and what was once a three-day festival is more recently starting a day early.

While the program stated that events would start at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 12, very loud performances actually started at 1 p.m. on that day and continued until 10:45 p.m. The volume of those performances was described by an area resident as resembling "a dozen stationary boom cars in the park."

Society President Hans Schmid and member Norman Cousins visited the Festival on Sunday, July 15, and found a number of instances where the sound level was high enough to damage hearing. They took readings using a Radio Shack digital Sound Level Meter (catalog number 33-2055) on the A-weighting scale, which had been checked against a recently calibrated B & K professional meter, agreeing to within 2 dB(A).

Maximum dB(A) sample readings were as follows: Stage 4, 5:10 p.m., Indian music, 95 dB(A), Stage 6, 5:30 p.m., folk music, 96 dB(A), Stage 2, 6 p.m., guitar and banjo, 95 dB(A), all at 20 yards from stage; Stage 5, 6:15 p.m., drumming, 100 dB(A) at 30 yards; Main Stage, 9 p.m., guitar and voice, 91 dB(A), 9:30 p.m., guitar and voice, 89 dB(A), and 9:45 p.m., band and voices, 92 dB(A), all at rear of crowd, behind and to one side of central rear speakers; Main Stage, 9:50 p.m., band and voices 94 dB(A) at side of crowd, half way to front.

Update:

There will be a few more "silent nights" in Kerrisdale this Christmas season. The City of Vancouver, acting on complaints received, directed that the lamppost speakers be removed. A big thank you to all our members who made their views known. Also, Save-On- Foods on 152nd Street in South Surrey has now removed the eleven large speakers which used to boom over the produce section.

Right to Quiet Society Newsletter, Fall, 2001

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