Noisy parking lot sweepers revisited

The Oak Harbor City Council will revisit a noise nuisance agenda bill at a future meeting following complaints by residents of noisy parking lot sweepers.

When the issue first surfaced, the council asked for voluntary compliance by a company that was reportedly cleaning the parking lots in the Albertson’s and Wal-Mart area at inappropriate hours.

City Attorney Phil Bleyhl told the council at a regular Tuesday meeting that the company simply moved its early morning cleaning to a different parking lot, thereby subjecting a different group of residents to the disturbance.

The proposed ordinance would amend the noise code by prohibiting the operation of machinery between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., granted the racket can be heard 150 feet from the property line. Bleyhl suggested the hours of 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. as an alternative.

The ordinance would exempt the collection of waste after 6 a.m. and the repair of sewers after 9 p.m. and before 7 a.m.

Rather than simply notifying the affected residents individually, the council agreed that a blanket notification would be more appropriate. And Blehyl assured Councilman Paul Brewer that the ordinance is crafted to cover all areas of the city where parking lots are cleaned.

Council members Jim Campbell and Sue Karahalios were more comfortable with the hours of 10 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“Eleven o’clock might be a little late,” Campbell said.

Brewer added that businesses like Wal-Mart or Saar’s Market Place that stay open past the cutoff should be consulted. Bleyhl responded that sweeping can be carried out in daylight or evening hours even with vehicles present in the parking lot.

With a framework in place, the council moved to bring the agenda bill back at a later date.

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