Back to top

Noise bylaw update could target 'performance' mufflers with fine

When you are talking noise in Nelson, you had better be careful.

The City has updated a 28-year-old Noise Control Bylaw (No. 2026), laying out new provisions for what is considered too much noise, and where.

Although Nelson had already had a bylaw dealing with noise, said Coun. Deb Kozak, it had to be updated to integrate it into the new adjudication system that will come into effect within the next few months.

“The old noise bylaw wasn't very specific and really had no teeth in terms of enforcement,” she said. “Police have been asking for its review and amendment for a long time.”

The teeth are now firmly entrenched in the bylaw, with every person found guilty of an offence under the new bylaw liable to a fine and penalty of up to $2,000 and not less than $100 for each offence.

The updated bylaw has a provision for fines but is also more specific in what is considered to be too much noise. The amendment also addressed the following:

  • Bylaw 2357 (1989) – Motor Vehicle Noise and Penalties sections added
  • Bylaw 2632 (1994) – definition of property added
  • Bylaw 2711 (1995) – definition of downtown core and musical instruments section added

Council’s fundamental powers, per the Community Charter, include creation of bylaws to “regulate, prohibit and impose requirements which includes “noise, vibration, odour, dust, illumination or any other matter that is liable to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of individuals or the public.”

And with vehicles, that means “No person shall operate a motor vehicle so as to create a nuisance by noise or sound emanating from the motor vehicle.” The bylaw now gives police latitude to deal with “performance” mufflers people have added as after market additions to their vehicles.

General regulations of the Noise Control Bylaw

  1. No person shall make or cause, or permit to be made or caused, any noise in or on a public or private place which disturbs or tends to disturb the quiet peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort, or convenience of any person or persons in the neighbourhood or vicinity.
  2. No person being the owner, tenant, or occupier of real property shall allow or permit such real property to be used so that noise or sound which occurs thereon, or emanates there from, disturbs or tends to disturb, the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of any person or persons on the same piece of property or in the neighbourhood or vicinity.
  3. No person shall play or operate any radio, stereophonic equipment or other instrument or any apparatus for the production or amplification of sound either in or on private premises or in any public place in such a manner as to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of the neighbourhood or of persons in the vicinity.
  4. No person shall own, keep or harbour any animal or bird which by its cries unduly disturbs the peace, quiet, rest, enjoyment, comfort, convenience or tranquillity of the surrounding neighbourhood or the public at large.
  5. No hawker, huckster, pedlar, newsvendor, or other person shall by his intermittent or reiterated cries disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of individuals or the public.

Source: City of Nelson