Joanne Bowden is a long-time resident in the Lockhart subdivision in Collingwood’s south end and former Board Member of the former Enterprise Centre/Georgian Triangle Economic Development Commission.
photo courtesy Rogers Television. Click Here to visit Rogers’ web site to view the April 30th Council Meeting
Bowden has been speaking out with regards to the Town’s proposed changes to the Noise Bylaw and was on hand at the regular meeting of Collingwood Council on Monday April 30th to put forth her opinions to proposed bylaw exemptions.
Bowden says she is encouraged to see the public become passionately involved in the process surrounding proposed changes to the bylaw, saying the process of allowing an entire month of public input, both written and oral was a fair way to hear from those on all sides of the issue.
“Now that change is becoming a reality and construction noise in large subdivisions and commercial builds have been restricted to 60 hours on weekdays new input is being received.”
“This Saturday restriction on noise is on noise, not on construction.”
— Joanne Bowden
Bowden said many people are now speaking up after having remained quiet on the issue over the past month of discussion. She stated that in her opinion, several misconceptions need to be cleared up.
“This Saturday restriction on noise is on noise, not on construction. It is a twelve percent reduction in hours to perform construction that creates noise disruption. It does not limit construction as a whole. It still allows for many functions of construction to continue on Saturdays, such as electrical, plumbing, landscaping, drywall and so on. “
Bowden she is once again hearing people say that Collingwood is closed for business.
“This has been dragged out from past decades. Today it simply is not true. This is a new time in Collingwood and a new way of doing business. Thirty-five to forty percent of business is recreational and tourist-centric. Thirty percent is related to health care and healthy living. The remaining thirty percent contains a large number of small businesses. Small business is experiencing double digit growth … tech companies, craft breweries, marketing firms, independent trades people and various entrepreneurs. “
Bowden says the common thread in all of the growth is the people involved and their expectations of this community.
“Both long-time residents and newcomers have passionately expressed their desire to protect the lifestyle component of Collingwood and this means protecting our leisure time.”
Bowden said that eighteen percent of Collingwood’s tax base represents weekenders who are here to enjoy leisure time activities. She stressed that their voices should be heard in the noise bylaw discussions.
“Compromise is required on all sides of this issue. We cannot assume the status quo will continue to be effective, nor can we fashion our Municipal procedures as they do in urban areas. Respect for the needs of developers must be balanced with the needs of the recreational and tourism businesses, residents and tourists.
Bowden stated that the Town of Collingwood has been successful in its efforts to redefine itself adding that moving forward, the Town needs to protect what it is marketing.
She said exemptions to the proposed noise bylaw should reflect a bigger picture and long term solution as Collingwood continues to grow.
At the April 30th meeting, Collingwood Council defeated a motion to accept Staff Report C2018-06 Draft Noise Control By-law – Option 4 (Shelburne Model) with exemption opportunities.
Clerk Sara Almas said staff will now bring back a new staff report dealing with the issue at the next Council meeting.
The discussion continues.
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