Blueberry cannon noise complaints have dropped

The number of complaints about audible bird scare devices has fallen since the Township of Langley imposed tighter restrictions on blueberry cannons in June of last year.

A report to the municipal agricultural advisory committee says there were four noise complaints during the 2014 growing season, compared to 15 in 2013.

However, the Sept. 18 update also shows most Langley blueberry farms are still not registering their noisemakers with the Township.

During the 2014 season, the report shows that just 12 of the estimated 125 blueberry farms operating in the Township registered.

In 2013, 13 registered.

Under the new bylaw, blueberry farmers have to get a $125-a-year licence to register their bird scare devices with the Township of Langley, as well as post a notice before they use one.

During the 2014 growing season, there were nine complaints about farmers failing to display their registration in a visible location.

Some blueberry farmers have complained the bylaw unfairly singles them out.

The new Township bylaws restrict how often blueberry cannons can be fired, allowing one firing every five minutes for a single cannon.

They also require a 100-metre setback from horse trails.

The bylaw sets escalating fines for violating the rules, $150 for a first offence, $350 for a second and $500 for a third and any subsequent offence.