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Noise complaint filed against nightly show of support for health care workers in B.C. city

For 15 months, Rene Doyharcabal and a small group of neighbours in Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood have been going out every evening to show support for first responders during the pandemic by briefly honking horns and banging pots and drums.

Now, a neighbour has filed a noise complaint.

A Township of Langley staffer phoned a member of the group on Tuesday, June 16, to advise a noise complaint had been filed, by someone living within 500 metres of the nightly get-together in the 20400 block of 43A Avenue, but advised there were no immediate plans to send someone out to take noise measurements.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Langley makes some noise for health care workers

Doyharcabal told the Langley Advance Times that whatever nuisance the neighbour might be experiencing, it doesn’t compare to what first responders and health care workers have endured.

“They’re going to have more of a nuisance,” Doyharcabal commented.

For more than a year, the neighbours have been getting together every evening at 7 p.m. to to show support for the health care workers battling COVID-19.

“We’ve even been watching a hockey game, and we go out,” Doyharcabal remarked.

He would like to see the show of support continue “until the pressure is off front line workers.”

Another member of the group, who asked not to be named, hoped the dispute didn’t escalate.

“You don’t want to end on a negative note,” they said.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Langley heritage chapel bells ring out for first responders

When the pandemic started, there were nightly noisy outpourings of support across the globe, part of a movement that started in Italy and Spain to show support for first responders and health care workers who lead the fight against the coronavirus pandemic on the front lines.

Gradually, most of the demonstrations ended, but have continued in Brookswood.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Langley heritage chapel bells ring out for first responders

Under the Township community standards bylaw section dealing with “sound control,” a person may not “make or cause a sound in a highway, park, greenway, plaza, or other public place, which disturbs, or tends to disturb, the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort, or convenience of persons in the neighbourhood or surrounding properties.”

Limits for residential “quiet zones” are set at 55 decibels at the point of reception during the day, and 45 decibels at night, levels rated as ”moderate” to “soft” according to the American Academy of Audiology.

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Dan Ferguson

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