New noise regulations would require Langley Township construction sites to shut down two hours earlier on weekdays, impose a later start time on Saturdays and ban construction activity altogether on Sundays.
At the moment, construction is allowed from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the week under a 1988 bylaw.
The new limits would restrict construction from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
Builders of larger projects would be required to post signs outlining the limits with a 24-hour phone number for complaints, as well as the Langley Township bylaws department phone number.
Exceptions will be allowed on a case-by-case basis, such as projects that require a continuous pour of concrete.
The proposed new regulations won preliminary approval on a unanimous vote at the Monday afternoon session, but some members of council felt the rules should be even tighter.
Councillor Kim Richter, with the support of Councillor Petrina Arnason, argued for an earlier end to noise like the Corporation of Delta, which restricts construction from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“[Residents] have a right to enjoy their back yards,” Richter said.
“I think 12 hours of construction noise a day is enough,” she added.
Councillor Charlie Fox, who called the new regulations a “very positive response” to complaints, noted the allowable hours could be adjusted if a review shows a further reduction is required.
The revised noise limits will come back to council for formal approval at a later date.
The review of the rules was ordered after two Willoughby residents came to council in May to say they were plagued by construction noise.
Erin and Randy Watkins said they’ve had four years of “constant, constant, constant noise” from housing construction underway near their 68 Avenue residence.
Randy Watkins, who works an early shift, said the late-night noise has left him sleep-deprived and stressed.
The Watkins’ came to council with a 46-name petition asking for an overhaul of the noise bylaw.
Watkins said his search of construction noise limits in other Lower Mainland communities found none as lenient as Langley Township.
That claim was supported by a staff survey of six communities, contained in a report on the proposed revisions.
It found only Surrey and Coquitlam allow construction noise from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays while Abbotsford, Delta, Maple Ridge and New Westminster shut down earlier in the day.
However, Surrey bans construction on Sundays while Coquitlam limits construction on Sundays to non-profit projects.
Only Abbotsford allows Sunday construction, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.