A Parksville resident, frustrated with what he calls unacceptable volume levels coming from summer concerts in the Community Park, has asked city council to be a considerate neighbour and move the musical performances to another location.
Ted French, who has lived on Sunset Boulevard since 1985, said the concerts that take place on Friday and Saturday evenings between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. during Beach Fest in July and August are heard loudly from inside and outside his home and that he typically leaves his property when they’re taking place. French lives just over a kilometre from the Community Park.
“We can no longer sit and enjoy our property. We do not have a choice, the city has taken this from us,” French told council on Monday evening.
“We are at such a loss with our city that we’re even considering selling and leaving.”
French said he has spoken to city bylaw officers and members of Parksville’s previous council, but was told the concerts are for “tourist dollars” and therefore there would be no recourse.
“Tourists don’t come here for concerts, tourists come here for peace and quiet, as I did. They want a break from the noisy hustle and bustle of city life,” French said. “On the other hand, then Coun. Kim Burden said that this was not for the tourists, this was for the locals and if this was true, the short-lived satisfaction of a few locals is at the expense and sanity of those of us that live near the park. How is it that this is fair?”
French said he’s also spoken with Parksville Beach Festival Society members and asked them if they would consider turning down the speakers. He said they didn’t.
The society was also before council Monday night with updates and requests for a proposed outdoor theatre in the Community Park.
“As for an amphitheatre being considered for the park, which will allegedly contain the noise, I have not read any studies to outline whether this is a solution,” French said. “I do not believe this location to be a suitable venue for these concerts.”
In closing, French said at no time has he suggested the concerts should stop, he just believes a “more appropriate” site should be considered.
‘We are only asking the city to be a good considerate neighbour and to have a fair compromise,” he said.
The City of Parksville has a noise control bylaw that describes unacceptable noise as “playing or operating any radio, stereophonic equipment, television receiving set or other instrument or any apparatus for the production or amplification of sound, where the noise or sound is clearly audible at a Point of Reception in a Residential Area between the hours of 11 p.m. and 9 a.m. daily.”
Although an exemption is stated in the bylaw for “noise or sound created from parades, sporting events or public festivities authorized by council.”
Parksville mayor Ed Mayne did not respond to The News’ interview request before press time.