REGULATORY RANT: Toronto City Council's concrete compromise with noise bylaw
Paul De Berardis and Nadia Todorova / RESCON
Toronto City Council recently voted on proposed amendments to the noise bylaw. The amendments drew the attention of the high-rise construction industry due to the proposed removal of the current as-of-right continuous concrete pouring exemption.
Although industry would have ideally preferred the status quo, this was not an option with severe pushback on industry from councillors, residents and Municipal Licensing & Standards (MLS) staff.
In the end, council approved a continuous concrete pouring and large crane work exemption permit process. Although the exemption permit duration had been capped at three months in the proposed amendments, this time limit has been removed. More importantly, MLS staff, not city councillors, will approve exemption permits when changes take effect on Oct. 1, 2019. This brings more certainty to the process and removes political oversight by councillors. A noise mitigation plan outlining the type of work conducted during the exemption may be required by MLS. Posting a notice for residents within 120 metres of the site will be required seven days prior to commencing after-hours concrete work.
We will be working with MLS over the coming weeks and months to operationalize the details of the bylaw amendments prior to the Oct. 1 implementation date for these changes.
Given what was originally proposed by MLS and what was actually adopted by council, although considered a compromise, we hope this will be a workable solution for industry moving forward.
The amendments which were passed at city council today are outlined at the following link: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2019.EC3.6
The originally proposed noise bylaw amendments can be found here: https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ec/bgrd/backgroundfile-130987.pdf
If you would like to watch how the issue unfolded at city council, see video link (beginning at 1 hour, 43 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVrNJ8RYE4c
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Paul De Berardis is RESCON’s director of building science and innovation. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nadia Todorova is RESCON's director of government relations. Email her at email@example.com.
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