A Morgan Creek resident has filed an official complaint against a blueberry farmer in the area. (file photo)

Morgan Creek couple files official noise complaint against blueberry farmer

Pair who recently moved to South Surrey say blasting fans keep them from sleeping

A couple who recently moved to South Surrey’s Morgan Creek neighbourhood say noise from a nearby blueberry farm is keeping them up at night.

Shortly after moving from Vancouver into their new home in late March, Ross Paterson and Melissa Modenesi said they heard a loud, chopper-like sound they thought was coming from an active police chase or training exercise.

“It went on all night long,” the couple told Peace Arch News last week.

After a few nights spent lying awake listening to the same noise, the couple got into their vehicle at 4:30 a.m. to see where it was coming from. They learned it was the sound of two wind turbines being used at a nearby blueberry farm.

After filing complaints to the Surrey RCMP non-emergency line, the City of Surrey, and now an official complaint with the BC Farm Industry Review Board, which requires a $100 payment, the couple has learned more details about the turbines.

While the Minister of Agriculture is aware of one complaint regarding the farm, the BC Farm Industry Review Board had not yet received or processed a formal complaint as of Friday (April 16).

However, the couple shared with PAN an email exchange between them and BC Farm Industry Review Board case manager Sara Theisson.

In the exchange, Theisson said the province’s berry specialist Mikayla Roberts contacted the farmer and learned that he purchased two wind turbines to prevent frost damage on his blueberries, as he had two years of near crop failures.

The turbines, which have been running since mid-March, have been calibrated to turn on when the temperature dips below 0C.

SEE ALSO: Reflecting on origins of Morgan Creek

The email notes that Roberts suggested the farmer adjust the equipment to start at -3C, as the variety he farms can withstand the colder temperature.

“The nights are also warming up, so the turbines should turn on less frequently or not at all from now on,” the email exchange said.

Paterson and Modenesi suggested the farmer “should be slapped with a huge fine” or be forced to shut the turbines down.

“The reality is we’re going to have the same problem when we have temperature drops year over year. It’s going to happen if someone doesn’t look at this and say this is a non-acceptable form of practice,” Modenesi said.

Raising issue on the turbines is “like a public service to the neighbourhood,” Modenesi said.

“We’re in a high net-worth neighbourhood,” said Modenesi. “It’s different if you decide to move to an apartment, or condo, or house by a subway station or something because you know what you’re getting. You know that’s going to be a noise that you’re going to be hearing on a regular basis.”

BC Farm Industry Review Board executive director Kirsten Pederson told PAN via email that when the board receives a complaint, its role is to determine whether or not the disturbance was caused by “normal farm practice.”

Normal farm practice, as described by the Farm Practices Protection Act, is a practice that is accepted customs and standards established and followed by similar farm businesses under similar circumstances. The practice in question can make use of innovative technology in a manner consistent with proper advanced farm management practices.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
Fraser Health adds 4 first-come-first-serve vaccination clinics to Surrey

First 1,000 people to show up to receive vaccine

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigating after man found dead in South Surrey following a wellness check

IIO says officers ‘reportedly spoke to a man at the home before departing’

Surrey RCMP in the 4900-block of 148th Street, a short road just off of King George Boulevard, on May 15, 2021 after a male was allegedly assaulted with a “pipe-like” weapon that morning. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey RCMP investigating after person reportedly injured with ‘pipe-like’ weapon

Police investigating incident in the 4900-block of 148th Street

The leadership team at Johnston Heights Secondary is looking to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society through the Relay for Life, planned as an online and in-person event (following COVID-19 restrictions) for the week of June 1 to 7.
Pushed back a year, Surrey students well on their way to Relay for Life fundraising goal

Johnston Heights Leadership Team aims to raise $6,500 for Canadian Cancer Society

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his ‘Community Connections’ videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Gwenne Farrell

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of May 16

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Most Read