Sounds associated with traffic or industry can be very disruptive to adjacent residents. Assessments indicate whether or not acceptable noise levels are present now and in the future. Assessments identify if, and to what extent, noise attenuation measures (e.g. noise walls) are required. The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) made noise assessments mandatory in the late 1970s and the City of Brampton’s Official Plan was updated to incorporate the MOE requirements.
Sound that is audible to the human ear is measured in decibels (dBA’s). Typical backyard sound levels during the day in an urban setting vary from 50 dBA to 70 dBA. Over 60 dBA, conversation becomes difficult and could require raising your voice. An increase of 10 dBA is perceived as a doubling of loudness. For roadways, doubling of traffic volume results in a 3 dBA increase.
Cost of a Noise Wall
The cost of the noise wall depends on the type of noise wall required for your property. All local improvements are evaluated for technical and financial feasibility. The actual cost of the wall will be determined by the City of Brampton. Although there is no limit to the length of the noise wall, the cost is based on the portion of the wall that will abut your property.
A public meeting
may be held to discuss the type of wall being constructed.
In November 2015, Council gave staff approval to develop an Implementation Plan that would look into the possibility of the City funding 100% of the replacement cost of all existing privately-owned noise walls adjacent to City roads. Staff presented the Implementation Plan to Council in November 2017, which was not approved due to significant tax burden to property owners. Therefore, the funding split for the replacement of existing noise walls will continue to be 75% by the City and 25% by the benefitting homeowners.
If a noise wall does not currently exist and homeowners are successful with their petition for a new noise wall, the funding split will be 50/50 with 50% paid by the City of Brampton and 50% paid by the property owners.
A successful petition for a noise wall will result in a charge being added to the property owner's tax bill for their share of the construction costs, regardless of whether that property owner supported the petition or not. The owner’s share of the noise wall cost can be amortized over a 15-year period. Also, the City must have adequate funding in its budget to pay for the noise wall.