A helicopter is pictured flying over the Coral Beach Farms cherry orchard in Lavington, a concern for many neighbours. (photo submitted)

Coldstream intervenes with farm noise

Coldstream is meddling into provincial waters over a farm noise complaint.

The district has applied to be an intervener in an appeal issued by a Lavington resident (Bob Learmonth) over a Buchanan Road cherry orchard with the B.C. Farm Industry Review Board.

“The district wishes to provide its perspective with respect to the noise generated from the use of helicopters, sprayers and wind machines at the Coral Beach Farm operation in Lavington by providing BCFIRB with complaint statistics gathered in 2016 and public presentations/comments as documented in council and committee meeting minutes that relate specifically to Coral Beach Farms Inc.,” Mayor Jim Garlick says in a letter to the BCFIRB.

There were 13 complaints logged between Jan. 1 2016 and April 20, 2017 over helicopters, noise from sprayers, early morning/late night work and a whining noise coming from Coral Beach (several of the complaints were from the same individual). In 2015 there were 16 complaints.

“We are keeping statistics,” said Keri-Ann Austin, Coldstream’s director of corporate administration, adding that complainants are advised to file with FIRB as well.

But pointing to a FIRB review, Learmonth says that local governments are identified as being in the best position to control local noise.

“They repeatedly recommend that local governments enact local bylaws to control noise to residential,” Learmonth stated in one of his original complaint letters in 2016.

But not everyone believes Coldstream should be getting involved with the issue.

“I still don’t think it’s appropriate for council to step in as an intervener,” said Coun. Peter McClean.

Garlick defends the process.

“I think you can think of this as being proactive instead of reactive.”

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