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Kirkwood council addresses construction noise

Kirkwood council addresses construction noise

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KIRKWOOD — The City Council on Thursday debated legislation that would reduce the hours when construction noise is allowed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

A final vote is set for May 20.

The legislation is in response to a resident's concern about the nuisance of construction noise on weekends.

Construction is currently allowed in the city from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays.

Council members are proposing that those hours be reduced on Fridays and Saturdays to 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sundays to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Council member Wallace Ward said the legislation doesn't go far enough.

“We have had little, if any, fact finding on this legislation, which is a largely uninformed ordinance and a poor way to do government,” he said. He added that limiting construction times could result in those in some neighborhoods looking at a number of years of construction.

“We didn't get input from homeowners in the community," Ward said. "There's been no opportunity for them to weigh in, and this law will affect those residents who work so that weekends are the only time they have" for home repair or improvement projects. 

Ward proposed seasonal times for construction, such as moving the start time for construction to 7 a.m. in the summer, to avoid the heat of the day, and 8 a.m. at other times.

But Mayor Tim Griffin said, “The whole purpose of this legislation is a simple matter of weekends. Looking at that bigger issue requires more investigation.”

Councilman Bob Sears said some homeowners are forced, by their work hours, to do construction and repair work during early or late hours on weekends.

“These changes will impact and burden property owners from doing things they need to accomplish,” he said.

Councilman Mark Zimmer said he feared “unintended consequences, though our intentions are good. A 9 a.m. start time may be a little too late, especially in the warmer weather months."

Griffin said the legislation “will not prevent people from working at various hours but addresses noise from such work.  You can put in a gazebo and pour concrete and make no noise, so this would not keep people from working on their homes.”

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