The City of Cold Lake has revised its noise bylaw exception including commercial parking lots after receiving complaints of noise violations during the City’s designated quiet hours.
The complaints were mainly associated with snow clearing on parking lots attached to commercial businesses during the quiet hours between 10pm to 7am during the week, and between 10pm and 9am on weekends and holidays.
Administration felt that the designation of public parking lots required clearer language and requested Council to pass a motion to amend the bylaw to include parking lots attached to commercial businesses. Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland says the city can not control the weather and the city gets a lot of snow on a regular basis.
“For many large commercial lots, it’s impossible to clear snow during the business day, so it becomes a balancing act between ensuring it’s quiet at certain times, while also allowing businesses to keep their parking lots clear and safe for use. In the end, council felt that we needed to be flexible and make sure that our rules were not preventing lots from being cleared of snow.”
Council noted that snow clearing, whether it is municipal or private, is not a cheap program and there is a naturally built-in time frame for when clearing can be done. Council said any change would significantly impact services level and/or require more resources
“Snow removal can be an inconvenience at any time of the day, but after a snowfall, our goal, and the goal of business owners is to get the streets and parking lots cleared, so residents can go about their business in a safe and timely fashion,” said Mayor Copeland.
The Noise and Public Nuisance Bylaw was initially passed in November of 2014, for the expressed purpose of introducing quiet hours to the City for benefit of the residents. The restrictions during these quiet hours are quite detailed, but there was room for a few exceptions. These included special events and noise from snow-clearing in public parking lots.