A proposed heavy truck repair facility for the 9700 block of 203 Street has been approved, despite opposition from neighbours concerned about noise.
Both sides got to make their case to the Township of Langley council a week before before the decision, which was made Monday, Feb. 4.
Resident Rob Dekam said people living nearby were concerned that the sound tests carried out for the shop owner only show the facility won’t exceed the average allowable noise limits.
The tests don’t allow for “annoyance” noise — sudden peaks generated by the big trucks and the shop tools, Dekam told the Jan. 28 session.
He presented a second noise assessment prepared for the residents by a consultant who recommended against the facility, citing potential noise problems posed by things like truck back-up beepers and shop air wrenches.
The residents’ consultant also said the design — a proposed noise fence for the site — is not high enough at four metres to keep noise away from second-floor suites in the area.
Dekam urged council to have another noise study carried out by an independent third party.
“We would like another opinion,” Dekam said.
Pacific Truck Development owner John Williams said he a borrowed money to buy the property and the delays in approval caused by the residents objections could cost him as much as $1 million.
“The bank is kind of wondering what we’re doing with it [the property],” Williams said.
The proposed $250,000 noise fence is not required under Township zoning regulations, Williams noted.
The company has gone “over and above our responsibility” to mitigate noise, Williams said, and he would not consider raising his noise fence any higher.
“I didn’t want to feel that we’re in a prison on our own property that we just paid $10 million for,” Williams said.
When the matter came back to council for a decision Monday, the project was approved, after several attempts by various councillors to fine-tune the design failed to win enough votes.
An attempt to hire another expert to prepare an independent noise assessment was also voted down, with Mayor Jack Froese calling it a costly “precedent we don’t want to set.”
The project was finally approved with one alteration, a requirement to add some landscaping.
When the vote was taken, Froese and Councillors Grant Ward, Steve Ferguson, Bev Dornan, Charlie Fox and Michelle Sparrow were in favour. Councillors David Davis, Kim Richter and Bob Long voted no.