Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee says nothing city can do about complaints over late-night gravel work on waterfront
The Charlottetown councillor responsible for the waterfront says something has to be done about late-night gravel noise at Port Charlottetown.
Eddie Rice says he’s heard concerns from residents about trucks loading gravel in the middle of the night on Saturday.
The gravel is being transported to the Charlottetown Airport, part of a new runway expansion project.
“They’re bringing it in and they’re starting at 4 a.m.,’’ Rice said Wednesday.
“Yes, we’re aware of it. I’ve notified the mayor and I’ve sent the mayor an email asking him to join me in a meeting. We’ve got to come to some resolution.’’
Rice said it’s a matter council will have to discuss and one that the city’s bylaw enforcement officer considers.
Mayor Clifford Lee said the city received one complaint, from the owners of a bed and breakfast on Water Street, but there is nothing the city can do.
“The problem is that you have an industrial working port on one piece of land and on the other piece of land you have a bed and breakfast,’’ Lee said.
“Obviously, not the best of neighbours. The uses tend to conflict. I’m not going to sugarcoat it and pretend there is something the city corporation can do because there’s not. The bottom line is the land the harbour authority occupies is zoned industrial, and that allows for this use.’’
The Guardian approached the owners of the bed and breakfast on Wednesday, but they declined an interview.
The Guardian did speak with a few other residents on Water Street. Most seemed to take the issue in stride.
However, one man said going all night is a problem.
“If they only went to midnight, it wouldn’t be so bad,’’ said the man, who didn’t want his name used. “When they’re hauling it off the boat you don’t hear anything, but it’s when the (bed) slams into the truck,
that’s when it gets annoying.’’
One woman said it comes with a working port.
“Can’t do anything about it, so why worry about it,’’ she said.
The Charlottetown Port Authority said Saturday’s work involved hauling about 60,000 metric tonnes of gravel.
Corryn Clemence, business development manager with the port, said night work takes place at the wharf six to 12 times a year.
“At the very most, maybe 12 nights a year. I mean, that’s a worst-case scenario,’’ Clemence said.
Lee said the operator of the bed and breakfast told him the business uses a parking lot that is owned by the harbour authority and that the harbour authority doesn’t charge them anything for it.
“It would suggest to me that there is a relationship between the port and the operator of the B&B. It might be more productive to try and resolve the concerns (by the two meeting).’’
Lee also noted that the city can’t use the nuisance bylaw to stop trucks from hauling gravel. Storing the gravel is already an allowable use for the site in the zoning and development bylaw.
“My understanding from administration is that you can’t use one bylaw to circumvent another one,’’ Lee said. “Saying now we’re going to apply further restrictions . . . you can’t make one bylaw to make another bylaw null and void.’’