Listed and linked below are a group of documents that may be useful for activities ranging from submitting repeat noise complaints to objecting to a new or expanded liquor license application. I’ve also added the most recent amendment to the noise bylaw[i] regarding amplified sound. We call it the “prohibition” as it shows a property line as the point at which no disturbance from amplified noise shall lawfully pass. This is the prohibition we requested to have maintained at the city’s most recent public meeting on the updated bylaw. It’s tough to enforce, but it has the benefit of not suggesting anything that a resident should have to put up with when it comes to amplified sound.
Please note, in the instance where a noise disturbance is ongoing, residents should file a complaint[ii] by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting 311 every time they are disturbed inside their home. Eventually, MLS (Municipal Licensing & Standards) will contact the resident and ask them to fill in and submit a city-issued noise log[iii]. That log becomes evidence in any potential court case against the venue operator. Fines will escalate with repeat complaints, charges and court appearances. Eventually, the matter may become one of license revocation, but this can take years (I’m not kidding; four-and-a-half years in my experience).
Should there be a liquor license application that is of concern to GDNA residents, I highly recommend objecting both individually and as a neighbourhood association before the deadline date (all information is posted on the AGCO placard that must be posted outside the venue). A written submission[iv] can be sent in email form to the AGCO at: email@example.com
The objection will kick a pre-hearing where residents can meet with the applicant and express their concerns in a mediated environment. The AGCO has increasingly backed away from adding additional conditions to a license, so we face more one-size-fits-all applications. Still, it’s worth objecting because it gets the attention of the applicant. Always make sure that the councillor’s office is cc’d on the objection. The city may also be objecting to a specific application for different reasons, so always go for safety in numbers. Applicants must also acquire a business license from the city, so there is always the possibility of leverage in that regard.
Rep, GDNA (Garment District Neighbourhood Association)
Rep, WPNA (Wellington Place Neighbourhood Association)
Rep, Community Police Liaison Committee
[i] most recent amendment to the noise bylaw
[ii] 311 complaint (draft)
[iii] city-issue noise log (sample)
[iv] AGCO complaint (draft)