Queen's seeks bylaw exemptions for north West Campus fields

Queen's seeks bylaw exemptions for north West Campus fields

December 4, 2013


Exemptions to the City of Kingston’s noise bylaw for two Queen’s playing fields located on west campus would bring the facilities in line with similar fields operated by the city.

“The pursuit of positive physical activity and wellness activities is an increasingly important part of our campus and community life, and as a result we have incredibly high demand for all of our playing fields, not only from Queen’s students but from many community groups and sports leagues that rely on our fields on a regular basis,” says Leslie Dal Cin, Director, Athletics and Recreation. “The current bylaw as it pertains to west campus does not allow sport groups accessing the field to fully maximize their physical activity programming when compared to the regulations around other city fields.”

The current citywide bylaw prohibits certain noises (yelling, shouting, whistling, etc.) from 9 pm – 7 am on most days. However, authorized recreational events on city-operated fields are exempt from the noise prohibitions outlined in the bylaw, and recreational activity on those fields is permitted until 11 pm.

The exemptions would permit the noise that occurs from sporting events on the fields between the hours of 9 am and midnight; however, all field activity bookings end at 11 pm.

An estimated 1,000 hours of field time will be lost if the fields are not available between 9 and 11 pm, affecting approximately a dozen community sports groups.

“We have taken a number of steps including strategic scheduling of our activities, instruction to our users groups, maximizing field usage prior to 9 pm, and minimizing whistle usage after 9 pm, all in an effort to be proactive with minimizing noise,” says Dal Cin.  “We are also sensitive to the fact that many people and sports groups rely on our fields for their health and wellness, and any reduction in our ability to use our fields will have a significant impact on these activities.”

Kingston City Council is expected to consider this matter at its meeting of January 21, 2014.