Retirement village residents make noise but Valley Axe exemptions approved

Bo Tait axe throwing. (Photo by Valley Axe)

Sarnia council has approved noise bylaw exemptions for Valley Axe on London Line for this year, but held off on events in 2021.

President Bo Tait told council during its virtual meeting Monday that the exemptions allow some flexibility to adapt to ever changing pandemic rules.

“What we’re trying to do is create an avenue where we can hold events and not be in contravention of noise bylaws,” said Tait. “Generally this type of process you can plan an event months in advance and expect that it will go on as planned. 2020 has presented us with a lot of problems and constantly changing provincial guidelines on what can and can’t be done, indoors and outdoors.”

Tait said they don’t intend to run events every week in 2021.

“2020’s really presented us with a very tough hand and we’re simply just looking for the opportunity to play the best hand that we can.”

Residents of Green Haven Estates, that backs onto the Valley Axe site, petitioned council to reject the request, claiming the events would disrupt their normal “quiet” life.

But, councillor Bill Dennis said he noticed several residents said they would be comfortable with a once-in-awhile activity.

“This is truly an unfortunate situation,” said Dennis. “On one hand we have a business trying desperately to survive and on the other hand we have many residents on an adjacent retirement village urging for peace and quiet. I’m sympathetic to both sides. I feel for the business and the neighbours and I’m hopeful a reasonable compromise can be reached.”

Council approved Valley Axe’s requests for an event with live bands October 17 and a live pro-wrestling demonstration on Halloween.

Permission for other live events until 11 p.m. from May 21 to October 30, 2021 will be considered next year.