The following letter was originally published as a Letter to the Editor in the Kingston Whig-Standard on July 9, 2014.
I am writing to clarify some inaccurate information circulating in our community regarding the application Queen’s University has submitted to the City of Kingston for a temporary noise bylaw exemption for two West Campus sports fields and for Richardson Stadium.
Queen’s withdrew a prior application earlier this year after noise-related concerns were expressed by area residents during broad public consultations. We listened to those concerns and in response, we have extensively revised and scaled back our application.
Specifically, we are requesting a limited, temporary exemption to the noise control bylaw, between 9 am and 9 pm, Monday to Sunday, until December 31, 2015. Put simply, we are seeking the ability to: blow game whistles; make brief, intermittent PA announcements; sing or play the national anthem; and (for Richardson Stadium only) play music during timeouts and other breaks in play.
Last week, based on additional comments heard at a public meeting hosted by the university, we further revised our application to quantify the maximum number of games that would be held at each field in a calendar year. This includes at most 15 games at Richardson Stadium, and up to 93 games at the north fields (that number being the highest estimate should all Queen’s teams host the maximum possible number of playoff games).
The university has already undertaken several mitigation strategies to reduce noise from athletic and recreational activities on the fields; more work will take place based on recommendations from a noise study, currently underway. We have heard feedback that suggests these mitigation strategies are working.
We believe this revised application achieves a reasonable balance between the concerns of area residents and the continued operation of these sports fields. If the university is not granted this limited exemption, our football and varsity soccer programs will be in jeopardy.
Principal and Vice-Chancellor