Well, I hate to say it, but this will be the last post on bylaws before the students return and school is back in full swing. This seems like a good time to talk about noise bylaws, not only because there are bound to be a few parties over the next few weeks, but also because summertime lends itself to more noise with us all spending more time outdoors.
The amount of noise you are allowed to make outdoors is dependent on your location. The city has put out this handy map to show us the various zones. Areas such as downtown have a little more leniency to allow for outdoor concerts and other events. In residential areas however, loud music or partying is never acceptable. In fact, any sound that could be considered disruptive to your neighbours is illegal. This includes loud motors, music, yelling, squealing tires, using your car horn unnecessarily (that’s right, you’re not supposed to honk when you pick someone up), dogs barking persistently…the list goes on.
One reader asked us about fireworks specifically and the reality is, we’re not actually supposed to shoot off fireworks at all. I spoke with a City of Kingston Bylaw Officer and he explained that although fireworks are legal, firing off a Roman Candle in your yard is considered a noise-related offense. Of course, we’ve all done it and these types of laws can only be enforced if those around us are disturbed enough to call in a complaint.
So, since these laws are only enforced when complained about, a good first step is to learn to live in harmony. If you have a neighbour who is disturbing your peace, try talking to him or her first, and be sure to keep yourself in check – remember, we all have different schedules. You may think playing your tunes loudly at 11am is fine but maybe the guy next door just got in from a night shift. If we all make an effort to respect each others’ right to peace and quiet, we’ll all be much happier. …and if you do plan to have a party, take this piece of advice: your neighbours won’t complain if you invite them to join in on the fun.
Have a great, bluesy weekend, Kingston!
Thanks to Brad. K for today’s pic.