Leaf Blower Ban Rescinded

In a most disappointing move, Vancouver City Council has responded to pressure from the British Columbia Landscapers and Nursery Association to rescind the progressive anti-leaf blower bylaw passed July 12, 2001 (reported in our Fall 2001 newsletter), opting instead to restrict gas powered leaf blowers to no closer than 50 metres from residential premises except from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. (Ed. note: These hours were the most heavily used anyway, and that was the original problem for those who work at home, shift workers trying to sleep, and the housebound who have no means of escape from the noise!)

After January 1, 2003, there will be an upper limit of 65 dBA allowed for these machines, despite the fact that such a limit is virtually unenforceable, as calibrated decibel meters with trained operators would have to be available on demand to measure the noise and provide proof that the bylaw has been breached. Catering further to the BC Landscapers and Nursery Association, Council voted to endorse the strategic plan proposal put forward by that organization, requesting that City staff participate in the process. Council is to review the effectiveness of the bylaw in late 2003.

Councillor Lynne Kennedy moved that the July 12, 2001 bylaw be rescinded and the above be enacted instead. Councillors Bass and Louis were the only voices opposing this regressive move; Gordon Price, who had previously supported a total ban by Feb 2, 2004, now voted in line with the rest of the NPA in favour of it.

On the separate issue of noise from entertainment facilities, in a meeting November 22, 2001 Vancouver City Council approved a bylaw requiring that bass noise from such businesses be kept to a maximum of 55 dBC (3 minute Leq) in neighbouring residential premises. Our society maintained that this level is far too high to allow for proper sleep and relaxation of affected neighbours, but it was to no avail.

Comments on the above issues can be sent to Mayor and Council, Vancouver City Hall, 453 West 12th Ave., Vancouver, BC, V5Y 1V4, or by email to Mayor and Council.

"Wilderness? "

Some 40,000 "hikers" have gone on heli-hiking tours since the opening of a BC company offering this noisy form of ingress to the backcountry, and Big White Ski Resort and Silver Star Mountain Resort have recently launched a helicopter shuttle service between their two sites for scenic flights, airport and skiing shuttle, and winery tours.

"Stealth Campaign"

The American National Rifle Association have, in what has been termed a "stealth campaign" by the Wall Street Journal (January 22, 2002), carried out successful lobbying in 44 states for legislation shielding shooting ranges from noise related litigation. They are now targeting Delaware, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nebraska and Washington.

In Kansas, the amendment was tacked onto a seemingly unrelated bill at the last minute by Sen. Kay O'Connor, who kept such secrecy she states she didn't even tell her husband beforehand. This underhanded move prevented public debate on the issue.

The Society is now able to sell our t-shirts and "I Love Quiet" bumper stickers (as illustrated on our Home Page). The t-shirts cost $17 Cdn. + postage and PST, and the bumper stickers cost $3 Cdn. each or 4 for $10 + postage and PST. A member suggested making stickers available, and we are currently working on this. Please order from Hans through the address on the front page.

Right to Quiet Society Newsletter, Spring 2002

< Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Next >

Right to Quiet Home Page