Ontario Campground Loses Noise Debate
The Bayham, Ontario, council has turned down a campground’s request for a noise bylaw exemption for the second time.
Outback Camping – popular with youth in a rural setting south of Tillsonburg – owner Mike Timmermans filed an amended application to the municipality since the first was voted down two weeks earlier, but the voting results were much the same, The Tillsonburg News reported.
Only Deputy Mayor Mark Taylor voted in favor of granting the campground the right to let an otherwise unacceptable level of noise continue past 11 p.m. on the four long weekends of summer 2011.
Timmermans originally asked for an exemption until 2 a.m. for most nights and 6 a.m. for a few.
In his latest application, Timmermans said music through a public address system would be off by 11 p.m., while loud talk and music played by patrons would be under control by 1 a.m.
Neighbors Christine Churchill and Helen Cerna renewed their objections to an exemption for Outback in formal statements, a chorus joined by Carole Engelhardt and Karen Cummings.
Engelhardt said that last year patrons of the campground would sometimes wander onto her property in a drunken stupor.
Cerna’s son Marc and husband Robert told the council about how music from the Outback stage would shake their windows from 1 1/2 miles away, campers would smash bottles on neighbourhood lawns and shout profanity.
Approximately 50 neighbors signed a petition opposing the exemption, but Timmermans returned to council with a petition signed by local businesses supporting his application.
Timmermans showed that the economic impact of Outback Camping brings roughly 6,000 people to the area who spend $1 million at local businesses using the Ontario Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model.
“As you know, businesses in the area already have a tough enough time, and we feel cutting off this valuable source of revenue will just be adding another nail to their coffins,” Timmermans said.
However, Timmermans’ argument and plan to hire more security personnel to enforce the noise bylaw didn’t sway the majority of council.