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Mahone Bay puts breaks on noise-bylaw after residents voice concerns

By Evan Taylor Jul 31, 2023 | 3:10 PM

CGP Grey / CC

The Town of Mahone Bay has postponed the second reading of a controversial noise by-law, and tasked staff with exploring other noise regulations that may be more palatable for the community.

The by-law was proposing setting noise thresholds within town limits of 65 decibels (dBA) during the day and 55 dBA at night. Many residents complained that those thresholds were too low as a normal conversation is estimated to register at 50 dBA, while a lawnmower or a toilet flushing are over 80 dBA.

The by-law was scheduled for it’s second reading and implementation (had it received the necessary votes at last Thursday’s council meeting), however a public feedback hearing on the matter took place prior to the council meeting which changed those plans.

“We had about 20-30 people at the meeting and most of them were opposed, along with a handful of written submissions,” said Mahone Bay Mayor David David Devenne. “Hearing those concerns council voted unanimously to postpone the second reading, and instead refer that to staff for further work,”.

By no means has council given up on the idea of noise regulations altogether as Devenne says it is one of if not the most common complaints he and other councilors receive from residents but staff is now working on plans that better reflect the desires of the community.

What that will look like remains to be seen, with the plan being for staff to bring back any revisions to the by-law at the fourth council meeting in September.

Overall Devinee sees this as an example of how municipal politics are intended to work, “Ultimately our first responsibility is to our residents, so that’s why laws require us to have public feedback sessions, and when we hear overwhelming opposition to something we have an obligation to listen to our citizens,”.




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