urbanizta

Resources for neighbours of 1401 Comox (1061 Broughton) during construction

In Uncategorized on March 5, 2013 at 8:13 am

If you have concern about any demolition or construction impact, call the City at 311. Also, e-mail mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca

DEMOLITION/CONSTRUCTION DISTURBANCES

  • Noise, the most common complaint, is regulated by the Noise By-law. Construction noise in any zone is limited to these hours:

7:30 am to 8 pm (Monday – Friday)
10 am to 8 pm (Saturday)
(In case you didn’t notice, that means SIX days a week.)
No construction noise is permitted on Sundays or holidays.

Permission can be granted for noise outside of these hours for special circumstances.

  • Concerns about noise? Call the Noise Hotline at 604.873.7753 (or 604.717.3321 after 5pm).

For other concerns about a construction site, file a complaint with the 311 Call Centre (604.873.7000) and ask City staff to investigate.

For general or specific questions about City Zoning or Building by-laws, call the Telephone Enquiry Centre at 604.873.7611.

  • Safety. If you observe anything at the site that concerns you about worker or public safety, contact WorkSafeBC at 604-276-3100, or e-mail ssquery@worksafebc.com.  Website is http://www.worksafebc.com/.  To inquire or report, WorkSafeBC requires the address, company and specific concern. The address here is 1401 Comox Street (and 1061 Broughton Street), Vancouver. Companies are Westbank Projects Corp. and ICON Pacific Construction Corp. The public has a role to play in watching out for any dangerous activity and can help ensure that no accidents happen by reporting anything that seems to be of concern.
  • The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation is a useful reference. For example, see Regulation 14.44 about suspended loads.14.44 Loads over work areas
    (1) If practicable, work must be arranged to prevent passing a load over any person.
    (2) A crane or hoist operator must not pass a load over a person, unless no practicable alternative exists and then only after the person has been warned of the danger by an audible alarm or other effective means.
    (3) A person working at a workplace must not stand under or pass beneath a suspended load.
    [Enacted by B.C. Reg. 320/2007, effective February 1, 2008.]

Complaints about idling vehicles (e.g., trucks waiting near a construction site) are handled by the Parking Enforcement branch. Call 311 immediately if you believe a construction vehicle is breaking a bylaw. It is illegal to idle a vehicle for more than three consecutive minutes in a 60-minute period, or while unattended and unlocked. Up to five tandem trucks related to the 1401 Comox project can often be found idling at one time — on Davie Street between Jervis and Broughton, and on Broughton, or on the lane.
Idling Bylaw informationhttp://vancouver.ca/streets-transportation/idling.aspx.

Odour concerns should be directed to Metro Vancouver’s 24 hour line at 604 436 6777. Metro Vancouver has jurisdiction over air quality.

Construction can go on at any time as long as it doesn’t generate noise. However, if noise becomes excessive, a complaint may be submitted. The info on the following page is for both citizens and construction firms: http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/construction.aspx. Specific noise level ranges for mechanical equipment are available on this page: http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/mechanical-equipment-info-sheet.pdf.

The Noise Control Bylaw is the most comprehensive source of information on the subject: http://vancouver.ca/your-government/noise-control-bylaw.aspx

For further assistance on any topic, please contact the City of Vancouver at:

3-1-1 (within Vancouver)
604.873.7000 (outside Vancouver)

Staff can take your call from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm, 7 days/week, 365 days/year (including holidays). The City offers interpretation services in over 170 languages.

Visit the City of Vancouver’s website for further information on City services at http://vancouver.ca

CONSTRUCTION CREW PARKING NEAR SITE

Everyone is required to comply with the City’s parking regulations. Large multi-year projects bring many workers into a community. It is the property owner’s responsibility (Westbank Projects Corp. and Peterson Investment Group) to ensure that all workers and contractors comply with regulations. In some cases, they might have to secure paid parking for crews, or transport workers in by crew bus. If you believe they are violating regulations, the City at 3-1-1 to report or inquire. Commercial plates do not exempt vehicles from resident parking area restrictions. Reference: https://vancouver.ca/streets-transportation/residential-parking-permits.aspx Note that contractors are eligible to obtain a daily parking permit for $5.60 per day (https://vancouver.ca/streets-transportation/temporary-permits.aspx), but only for working on “occupied residential units,” not buildings under construction. Large property owners make big profits from development. They should not be able to pad their bottom lines by taking up parking spots from local residents and by violating regulations. As the City does not have enough staff to monitor this, it’s up to the public to report violations immediately.

CRACKS IN NEIGHBOURING BUILDINGS

Neighbours have reported cracks appearing in walls in nearby buildings, likely tracing back to earth tremors and ground vibrations caused by work at 1401 Comox. People are encouraged to document any damage with time-stamped digital photos, and to keep notes of any damage observed. Damage has also been noticed on nearby public sidewalks.

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The City of Vancouver Noise Control Bylaw has the following requirements for construction noise:

“15. No person shall, in or adjacent to residential premises, but not including a street, make or cause sound or noise resulting from construction the continuous sound level of which exceeds a rating of 85 on an approved sound meter when measured at the property line, of the parcel of land where the construction is taking place, that is nearest to the point of reception of the sound or noise.

16. No person shall cause, permit or allow construction noise that disturbs the quiet, peace, rest or enjoyment of the public, except:

(a) between the hours of 7:30 o’clock in the morning (0730 hours) to 8 o’clock in the evening (2000 hours) on any week day that is not a holiday, and between 10 o’clock in the morning (1000 hours) to 8 o’clock in the evening (2000 hours) on any Saturday that is not a holiday; and

(b) for construction on a street between the hours of 7 o’clock in the morning (0700 hours) to 8 o’clock in the evening (2000 hours) on any week day or Saturday, and between 10 o’clock in the morning (1000 hours) to 8 o’clock in the evening (2000 hours) on any Sunday or holiday.”

Here is a link to the entire Noise Control Bylaw:

http://former.vancouver.ca/bylaws/6555c.PDF

This link will give you some idea of how loud 85 Dba is:

http://www.worksafebc.com/news_room/news_releases/assets/nr_07_02_21/How_Loud_home.pdf

WorkSafeBC How Loud Is It

Complaints about construction noise are followed up on an individual basis.  If you feel that there is an activity occurring on this site which is exceeding this threshold during these hours you can file a complaint through 311 and a Property Use Inspector will attend the attend the site with a noise meter to measure the level of the noise from this activity.  When making any complaint you can request a followup call from the inspector to discuss their findings.  If there is construction noise occurring outside of the permitted hours, you should call the police non-emergency number.

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SOUND METERS

A decent sound meter costs about $75.

Here is a sound meter app you can use on an Apple product. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/soundmeter/id287615105. $19.99 Download. Works on an iPhone and iPad. Description: SoundMeter turns your iOS device into a handheld sound level meter (SLM) with support for exponential-time-weighted sound level (Lp) and equivalent sound level (Leq) measurements with various time and frequency weightings. The built-in signal generator tool can be used for generating calibration test tones, noise, chirps, or other periodic. 

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You in the community are encouraged to ask yourselves if the above bylaws are acceptable. Are the hours acceptable? Is the 85 decibel limit acceptable? Should special zones be created in Vancouver with special rules, to respect the residents of the most densely-populated communities ?Who is responsible to consider these issues? Public servants? Elected officials? Private companies and contractors? Community groups? Individuals? How can improvements be initiated? Where will they come from?

As the West End nears the end of an official community planning process, residents of the West End may wish to push these issues onto the table. The community plan, once adopted is expected to have a life of about 30 years. If you have an opinion, write Mayor Gregor Robertson and City Council at mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca.

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  1. June 24: The City changed the parking permit for this site on Comox street this past week expanding the permit until 2014. They snuck that one in by only changing the year on the posted signs leaving most of the sign appearing as to have expired June 21. This led to many local residents (with WE permits) being towed Monday AM.

    It should be noted that this still hasn’t prevented construction trucks from double parking through out the day on Comox street and occupying the City’s new bike lanes.

    Additionally, the City did not expand the permit around the corner for Broughton street past June 22. Even though the construction permit for this area lapsed this parking is being used by non-permitted (WE permit) construction workers for their personal vehicles.

  2. Compressors should be silencing – Gas powered equipment should be banned and only electrical powered equipment allowed. – Dust needs to be controlled – I have had 2 summers destroyed by noise and dust from a construction next door to my house. To control the length of building a system of time escalating compensation should be payable to neighbors for inconvenience. Tighten the laws and issue fines and not warnings. Before construction starts the city should advise the neighbors of their rights and how to lodge complaints.

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