Collingwood Council discussed amendments to the Town’s Noise Bylaw at its April 16th meeting. Long-time Collingwood resident George Czerny submitted a letter detailing his thoughts on how the noise bylaw discussion impacts the Collingwood Rod and Gun Club:
Dear Collingwood Mayor, Deputy-Mayor and Councillors,
This is not a slam against property owners in the vicinity of the Collingwood Rod and Gun Club who are bothered by noise from the gun club. I feel badly for them.
I am not a member of the local gun club, although I have been there to look at the property which has been in use as a rod and gun club since the early 1950s. I feel badly for the rod and gun club.
Collingwood was a much different community back in the 1950s.
But development has closed in on the rod and gun club. Elsewhere in town, development has pushed to the border of at least one local manufacturer, which is a long-established major employer. Development of subdivisions is replacing what used to be farm fields and wooded areas and pushing up against lands in agricultural use. A side story from that is the current coyote situation. But I digress.
Today, we have a different Collingwood than we had in 1952.
I sympathize with those folks who are bothered by the occasional noise from the gun club. I watched with interest, on Rogers Cable television, the committee meeting at which property owner after property owner presented their complaint about shooting noise.
I watched as some rod and gun club spokespeople explained their position. It is clear that the club is trying to address the noise issues; to mitigate any problem.
I don’t have a vote at the council table. However, I encourage you to not penalize the Rod and Gun Club in any way. I encourage you to give the club members a chance – this summer – to take steps to minimize noise that travels in the direction of nearby housing.
It’s unfortunate, that the developers of those nearby condominiums were not asked to create berms, or wooded areas, which might have muffled the sounds from the Rod and Gun Club. Surely, those developers and the town’s planner were aware of the existence of the club and what happens at that property?
It’s unfortunate that whatever the Rod and Gun Club members do will have to be at the club’s expense. Maybe the nearby residents would want to chip in financially to assist the rod and gun club?
All kidding aside (with that last sentence) and noting that from what I see … the Rod and Gun Club is serious about wanting to minimize noise levels. I believe the club members should be given that opportunity. There are likely experts in acoustics who could assist the club. Maybe some university students could take on the Rod and Gun Club case as a noise-diminishing project?
It is unfortunate that some property buyers in the neighbourhood of the rod and gun club did not think it out, ahead of time, knowing that shooting noises emanate from a gun club. Did their realtors, or lawyers, not mention it? It’s unfortunate that these residents are bothered, occasionally, by shooting noises. But if stringent action is taken by council against the gun club, does that mean that some sort of stringent action will be taken against any local industry – which borders a subdivision – and creates noise from manufacturing? Would this mean that local farmers, whose agricultural operations might create smells, will be penalized (at their expense) because of odours emanating from their farms and being blown across nearby neighbourhoods?
If somebody buys a property next to an airport, we don’t expect them to complain about planes taking off and landing. There’s a saying: “buyer beware”.
Our town’s Rod and Gun Club is an unique asset with unique characteristics. The club should be given every opportunity to find a unique solution to the problem.
I do sympathize with property owners affected by some noise (it’s not all noise) from the club. I understand why they moved to Collingwood, as my wife Nancy and I did, which was to enjoy life here.
To wrap this up in a nutshell, I write this to you because I believe the Rod and Gun Club – which was at its location decades ahead of any nearby housing development – should be given every opportunity, in the fairest way possible, to improve existing noise-control systems at its property.
George Czerny, Collingwood, Ontario.
Note: This is the personal opinion of George Czerny.
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