Resident concerned about potential cultural centre noise

Dear editor:

As the May / June deadline for the opening approaches, I’m sure this centre will attract a lot of media attention, hopefully not for the wrong reasons. The planning and hastily positioning of this centre has been flawed from the start. Placing it only metres from an R-1 Residential area with no protection from the noises which will emanate from this facility has potentially set this venue and its users up for constant conflict with local neighbours of 99A and 99 Ave. This can be no surprise to the Town Office as I personally presented this issue, prior to construction, to the Developmental Permit Board, Town Council and during an appeal against the building permit being issued, where I actually won the argument on potential noise. But the permit was allowed to stand.

May 6, 2010 Notice of Appeal Decision:

“The Board is of the opinion that the potential noise levels that will be generated from the site related to the use of the facility will exceed acceptable levels. Evidence that was presented by both the appellant and the proponent relating to the expected noise levels to be generated from the development is cause for concern, and it is expected that the noise will exceed acceptable levels with a frequency that will negatively affect the quality of life of those living in such close proximity to the development. Sound mitigation methods are required, and the extent of these methods should be discussed and decided through the local democratic process.”

Initially I presented a petition to Council requesting that noise attenuation measures, more specifically, a sound barrier wall be constructed between the residences of 99A Ave. and the centre, where our current fence now stands. The Town has taken the stance that no evidence exists to base my concerns on and therefore they will have to take the “wait and see approach” as to what sound mitigation measures are required. Yet the architect of this facility presented a sound analysis by ACI (Acoustical Consultants Inc.) based on the building structure and insulation methods used prior to construction which stated ” Peak music sound levels for the concert, estimated at 120dBA, result in peak sound levels in the residential yard of 71dBA; this represents definite speech interference.”

And the above issues don’t even touch on the noise generated as parties, such as wedding receptions, anticipated to be running until late hours of the night every weekend.

This Town has acknowledged that they expect that the resident’s quality of life will be “negatively affected”, yet they chose to go ahead with the project. And I have been very clear, that I will not wait three years for them to study, contract and build suitable noise attenuation prior to bringing this issue before the courts for damages. Therefore the bottom line is; you built it, now you better control it.

More information on this subject can be found on FaceBook: Morinville Community Cultural Centre (Those Against).

Tim Stirling

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4 Comments

  1. It’s tough to figure out where to start on this one.

    Maybe that you bought a place that runs along a highway and across from a school.
    Maybe that you had your head in the sand when all the requests for public input were being sought.
    Maybe that you did not attend any of the many open houses to see where the recommended location was going to be and add your input.
    Maybe that you stand pretty much alone in your position as many on the petition that you had, have backed away.

    No……No, I think I’ll start with the appeal board’s decision. “The extent of these methods should be discussed and decided through the local democratic process.”

    Well my one vote says to wait and find out what noise will be produced and act accordingly. I’m guessing that your 12-15’ wall will not be it.

    Ps. I hear Okotoks is a nice place to live.

  2. Tim to Joe:
    -I live next to a highway across from a School, no problem, the school runs from 8-4 with only a few exceptions.
    -Prior to placement of the Day Care Centre on the School property the Town sent a letter to all those located within a minimal distance, they did not however do the same in this case until after the permit was issued. Mayor Birtschi: “It was unfortunate that we did not contact them in advance of selecting the site. Clearly we missed doing that.”
    -Of 40 families I petitioned only two were aware of the location change. The viability study of this Centre named 6 possible locations, none of which were in front of the High School.
    -I did not attend the open houses, because I was unaware of them. When one person is unaware it’s their fault, when and entire neighborhood doesn’t know, then it appears the Town wasn’t reaching enough.
    -I am not aware of any who have backed away? However, I feel my rights to enjoy peace and quite within my home have been tossed aside and I will fight for my rights.
    -The democratic process was exercised during the Appeals Hearing, however Counselor Phinney later went on record as saying “ There was alot to consider when we looked at this and the time constraints that were before us,” this indicating Institutional Bias in the Appeals process. Unfortunately this only came to light after the thirty day period for which I could of brought this matter before the Appeals Courts.
    -So the readers understand, you were the Counselor that sat on the Board and you and voted Mrs. Roy down 3-1 who wanted a residential impact study. Again a Counselor, pushing their agenda within a Board.
    -Your Okotoks comment only amplifies your ignorance and unprofessionalism.

  3. 100% without a doubt, unprofessional. It appears the drunk with power demeanour is still being experienced with the vote on this issue. Step down and perhaps with more grace than stumbling. A rather pathetic approach.

  4. Dear, Dear, Lisa:

    Step down from what?? You are aware of last falls election results are you not?

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