News / Ottawa

City staff recommend cutting short car alarms in noise bylaw review

Passive aggressive wind chimes are okay, 20-minute car alarms blaring are not.

Car alarms were many noises city staff were asked to examine for a review of the noise bylaw.

Haley Ritchie/Metro

Car alarms were many noises city staff were asked to examine for a review of the noise bylaw.

Wind chimes are safe, but the city is running out of patience for blaring car alarms in the noise bylaw review.

The City of Ottawa is reviewing the noise by-law for the first time in over ten years. The changes will be up for debate in committee May 18.

City staff were tasked with looking at a number of issues, including motorcycles, wind chimes, special events, car alarms and waste removal. By-law response times were also raised as a concern, but were outside the scope of the review.

As a result of public consultations, the changes being recommended include changing the time limit for car alarms from the current 20 minutes down to five minutes.

The report recommends no charges noisy wind chimes, which have resulted in 15 complaints over the past five years.

Severe cases of wind chime abuse, including “residents deliberately placing chimes to annoy their neighbour” can be resolved using existing bylaws, according to the report.

Concerns about loud music account for half of annual by-law noise complaints. As a result, staff are recommending the city impose specific measurements on the amount of bass noise allowed.

Exemptions allowed for construction noise, also one of the most common reasons for complaints, are not set to change. They’ll remain acceptable during the day on weekdays starting at 7 a.m. and at 9 a.m. on Sundays.

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