Peace and Quiet

Authority Town of Lake Cowichan

Amber considered her neighbourhood to be a residential area, and found a neighbouring business’ industrial mixing operation to be loud and disruptive. She made several complaints to the town. After several years Amber contacted us, still concerned about the noise.

We investigated. The town had repeatedly followed up with the concerns Amber raised by asking the neighbour to voluntarily comply with the noise pollution bylaw. It appeared, however, voluntary measures were not effective. 

Prior to Amber taking her complaint to us, the town had passed a new bylaw, varying the zoning on her neighbour’s property. While the bylaw clearly allowed for the neighbour’s continued operation, it also had specific restrictions that required him to operate in an enclosed area to reduce the impact on the neighbourhood. Based on the evidence provided by Amber, it appeared that the neighbour had not followed the restrictions. 

We asked the town to follow up once more, and to consider taking additional enforcement steps if it found that the neighbour had not followed the requirements in the zoning.

The town agreed, and ultimately took enforcement action against the neighbour. The town also agreed to write to Amber, informing her that the property was now in compliance with the bylaws, and apologizing for the delay in responding effectively to her concerns. 

When we called Amber with the news, she said the neighbour had already moved his operation to another property, in a less residential area. Amber had also framed the apology letter that the town sent to her, and hung it on her wall. 

Names in our case summaries have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. This case study can also be found in the 2016-2017 Annual Report.

Category Local Government
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2015
Location Vancouver Island / Sunshine Coast