This procedure identifies the method of analysis of traffic noise impacts on Outdoor Living Areas (OLA’s) associated with Noise Sensitive Land Use Areas and provides guidance as to potential abatement measures. This procedure is not intended to supersede the requirements of Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) publications such as NPC-300. In the event of differences between the requirements of this procedure and the requirements identified in the MOECC noise documents, the requirements stated in the MOECC documents will prevail.
This procedure applies to noise in OLA’s caused by traffic noise generated from town owned roads. The procedure is partitioned into 3 sections as follows.
A. Noise Control Procedure for Existing OLA’s - Applies to rear yard OLA’s potentially affected by traffic noise originating from existing town roads and potentially requiring retrofit noise abatement measures.
B. Noise Control Procedure for Capital Works Projects - Applies to rear yard OLA’s potentially affected by increased traffic noise due to town capital works projects.
C. Traffic Noise Control Procedure for New Development - Applies to OLA’s potentially affected by increased traffic noise due to new development applications or are OLA’s within a new development application.
This procedure does not apply to noise attenuation features required for the buildings such as air conditioning, double-glazed windows, brick veneer, etc. This procedure does not apply to noise generated from highways under the jurisdiction of the Province of Ontario, any private operator, the Region(s) or other noise sources such as rail and air traffic, or industrial and commercial operations.
This section of the procedure outlines the process and requirements to be met in order for a property to be considered by the town for noise abatement under the Local Improvement provision of the Municipal Act. The Local Improvement works if undertaken would endeavour to reduce road corridor noise in OLA’s as much as technically, economically and administratively feasible.
The process and requirements are as follows.
1. Priority Sites List: A Noise Barrier Retrofit Needs and Cost Assessment Study for residential dwellings adjacent to town roads has been completed by the town. The study contains a Priority Sites List containing potential noise wall construction locations based on projected future traffic volumes.
2. Notifying Town of Noise Concern: In order for a Noise Abatement Project to be considered under the Policy, property owners must first advise the town of the noise concern associated with a town road. A petition requesting the installation of a noise barrier signed by the property owner(s) as required under the Municipal Act must be submitted to the Clerk’s department. As required by the Municipal Act, at least two-thirds of the affected property owner(s) and fifty percent of the assessed value of those properties abutting the proposed work having signed the petition to qualify for the retrofit project. The Ontario Regulation 586/06 Local Improvement Charges-Priority Lien Status provides additional details with respect to petition requirements.
3. Initial Inspection and Location Screening: Upon receipt of a petition, the Engineering and Construction Department will screen the location of concern to determine if it is included on the Priority Sites List. In addition town staff will attend the area of concern and determine if any abnormal conditions are responsible for generating the noise complaint. This may include unexpectedly high truck volumes, the presence of pot holes, excessive vehicle speeds relative to the posted speed limit, temporary construction detours, deteriorating pavement or other transient conditions not normally associated with the town roadway in the vicinity of the noise complaint area. Where appropriate, corrective measures to address the abnormal condition(s) would be undertaken by the town. The area will also be checked visually to determine the feasibility of installing a noise barrier. If the location is not included in the Priority Sites List the town will advise the petitioners that the location is not eligible for noise barriers under this Procedure for Existing OLA’s. If the location is included in the Priority Sites List, provided that a location specific noise report has not already been completed, the town will commission a report by a qualified noise consultant for approval by the town and for review by the study area property owners.
4. Noise Study: The town will obtain the services of a qualified noise consultant who will prepare a noise report for the area of concern. The noise report will as a minimum:
Additional Site Eligibility and Noise Calculation Method information is provided in Appendix I.
If the subject area meets all of the requirements for noise abatement as a Local Improvement, the report will be expanded to include the following:
Upon study completion and town approval of the completed report, a study package including a Summary Section shall be made available to all the affected homeowners. The Summary Section shall provide clear and concise information on the following:
5. Confirmation of Retrofit Request: Should the study recommend the use of noise barriers and after sufficient time for residents to review the study findings, a polling of residents within the study area will be conducted by the town to confirm the level of interest in participating in a noise barrier retrofit project. If it is confirmed that sufficient numbers of residents are in favour of participating in the noise wall retrofit project as per the requirements of the Municipal Act, the retrofit request will be forwarded for consideration in the Capital Budget planning process.
6. Consideration In Future Capital Budgets: Retrofit requests will be considered by council on a case-by-case basis for inclusion in the 10-year capital budget. The need for noise walls in the retrofit locations will be considered along with all the other road needs at the time of preparing the capital budget and forecast. A retrofit project under this procedure will only proceed to construction following the approval of sufficient funds within the current year’s capital budget.
7. Noise Wall Construction: Should a noise wall retrofit project be included in the capital budget, the passing of a project specific Local Improvement Charges by-law as per Ontario Regulation 586/06 (Local Improvement Charges Priority Lien Statute) of the Municipal Act or its successor Regulation shall be enacted by the town with respect to the property owner(s) portion of the project costs. In addition, a final design of the noise wall(s) will be prepared. Upon acceptance of the design by the Director of Engineering and Construction, the town will undertake the tendering and construction of the noise walls.
8. Noise Wall Decorative Features: Should decorative options be requested by property owners participating in the noise wall project the following conditions will apply:
9. Additional Noise Abatement Features: The provision of any additional noise abatement features required to buildings located on the property will be the sole responsibly of the land owner.
10. Noise Wall Decommissioning: If an existing noise barrier reaches the end of its service life where minor repairs are no long practical and noise attenuation no longer appears to be required due to change in roadway use, a noise study by a qualified noise consultant shall be commissioned by the town. If the noise study concludes that noise attenuation is no longer required based on the noise wall retrofit criteria, the town may at its sole discretion remove the wall and may replace it with a chain link security fence or a fence of design and material deemed at its sole discretion to be appropriate.
This section of the procedure outlines the applicable sound level and noise abatement criteria associated with road construction and roadway expansion projects undertaken by the town under the Environmental Assessment Act. The noise abatement criteria are based extensively on the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change/Ministry of Transportation Noise Protocol as provided below.
1. This procedure applies only to rear yard Outdoor Living Areas (OLA’s) within noise sensitive land use areas that are located adjacent to town capital works roadway projects.
2. The calculation method used to determine noise levels will be in accordance with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) Guidelines, i.e. Ontario Road Noise Analysis Method for Environment and Transportation (ORNAMENT) Technical Document and the Ministry of Environment ”STAMSON” Computer Program for Road and Rail Traffic Noise Assessment. Traffic projections used in the Noise Assessment model shall be in accordance with Environmental Assessment study requirements. At the discretion of the town, actual site noise measurements may be undertaken by the town to verify model results and findings.
3. The applicable sound level descriptor shall be the A-weighted Equivalent Sound Pressure Level (Leq in dBA) established for the daytime period from 07:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., also referred to as Leq(daytime) dBA noise level.
4. The objective outdoor sound level is the higher of Leq (daytime) 55 dBA or the Leq (daytime) future ambient sound level.
5. The significance of a noise impact shall be quantified by comparing the future sound levels with the higher of either the Leq Daytime 55 dBA or the future ambient sound level.
6. In instances where the future sound levels are expected to exceed Leq (daytime) 55 dBA and the increase in sound levels above the future established ambient level exceeds 5 dBA, the town will investigate the feasibility of noise control measures within the road allowance and implement appropriate measures such that where feasible, a minimum attenuation averaged over the first row of receivers of 5 dBA can be achieved.
7. If the future sound level is greater than Leq daytime 55 dBA and less than or equal to Leq (daytime) 60 dBA and the change in sound level above the future established ambient level is less than 5 dBA, no mitigation shall be required.
8. If the future sound level is greater than Leq (daytime) 55 dBA and less than or equal to Leq (daytime) 60 dBA and the change in sound level above the future ‘do nothing’ ambient level is greater than 5 dBA, the town will investigate the feasibility of noise control measures within the road allowance and where possible implement mitigation measures that attempt to achieve sound levels as close to the objective level as is technically, economically and administratively feasible.
9. If the future sound level is greater than Leq (daytime) 60 dBA and the change in sound level above the future established ambient level is less than 5 dBA, noise control measures as per Part A-Noise Control Procedure for Existing OLA’s could be applicable (See Part A of this procedure).
10. Alternative noise control measures shall be considered prior to recommending the installation of noise barriers.
11. Should noise wall decorative options be requested by the owners of lands adjacent to the noise wall portion of project the following conditions will apply:
12. The final design of the noise wall shall be to the satisfaction of the Director of Engineering and Construction.
This section of the procedure outlines the applicable sound level and noise abatement criteria for OLA’s that are part of a new development application or are existing OLA’s potentially affected by increased traffic noise due to new development applications. It excludes interior building noise level requirements. Noise studies unrelated to this procedure, pertaining to aircraft, rail and stationary noise sources may need to be undertaken to meet MOECC requirements or as deemed necessary by the Director of Development Engineering.
The process and requirements for traffic noise control for new developments are as follows.
1. This procedure applies to OLA’s within noise sensitive land use areas associated with a proposed development and to existing OLA’s that are potentially impacted by a proposed development.
2. Unless an exception is granted as determined during the pre-consultation process and confirmed in writing by the town, a noise study shall be required to be submitted as part of any application for Official Plan amendment, Zoning By-law amendment, subdivision approval, site plan approval and condominium approval.
3. The calculation method used to determine noise levels will be in accordance with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) Guidelines, i.e. Ontario Road Noise Analysis Method for Environment and Transportation (ORNAMENT) Technical Document and the MOECC ”STAMSON” Computer Program for Road and Rail Traffic Noise Assessment. Traffic volumes used in the model shall be as per the typical maximum traffic volumes listed in Part C (General Policies) of the Livable Oakville Official Plan or in the case of revisions its successor Town of Oakville Official Plan document.
4. As per the MOECC guidelines, the applicable sound level descriptor shall be the A-weighted 16-Hour Equivalent Sound Level (Leq in dBA) established for the daytime period from 07:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., also referred to as Leq (daytime) dBA noise level.
5. If the 16-Hour Equivalent Sound Level Leq(16) in the OLA is greater than 55 dBA and less than or equal to 60 dBA, noise control measures may be applied to reduce the sound level to 55 dBA. If measures are not provided, prospective purchasers or tenants should be informed of potential noise problems by a warning clause Type A.
6. If the 16-Hour Equivalent Sound Level, Leq(16) in the OLA is greater than 60 dBA, noise control measures should be implemented to reduce the level to 55 dBA. Only in cases where the required noise control measures are not feasible for technical, economic or administrative reasons would an excess above the limit (55 dBA) be acceptable with a warning clause Type B. In the above situations, any excess above the limit (55 dBA) will not be acceptable if it exceeds 5 dBA.
7. Alternative noise control measures shall be considered prior to recommending the installation of noise barriers. Focus should be directed toward implementing more aesthetically pleasing treatments to mitigate road noise without creating barriers between the residential lots and the streets. Streetscaping and landscaping including the use of berms, service roads, or buffers should be encouraged when residential land uses must be located adjacent to major roadways.
8. The noise study shall be undertaken by a noise consultant to the satisfaction of the town. At the discretion of the town, noise studies submitted in support of a development application may be subject to a peer review at the developer’s cost.
9. A letter from a noise consultant shall be provided to the town providing confirmation that the OLA related recommendations contained in the noise study have been appropriately addressed in the final design and construction of the proposed development.
10. The cost of all noise mitigation measures required as a result of development shall be borne by the Developer. Noise Walls constructed for non-condominium related applications shall be constructed as per Appendix II. For condominium related applications, the noise wall shall be constructed on the condominium property and the cost of maintenance of the noise wall shall be the responsibility of the private property owner (Condominium Corporation).
A-weighted decibel (dBA): the A-weighted sound pressure level in decibels. A nationally and internationally standardized frequency weighting applied to the sound level spectrum to approximate the sensitivity of the human hearing mechanism as a function of frequency (pitch), measured in decibels (dBA). The specific variation of sensitivity with frequency is to conform to BS EN 61672-1 (2013) and BS EN 61672-2 (2013).
Ambient/(Background) sound level: means the sound level that is present in the environment, produced by noise sources other than the source under impact assessment. Highly intrusive short duration noise caused by a source such as an aircraft fly-over or a train pass-by is excluded from the determination of the background sound level. In the context of this document, the ambient or existing noise level is the noise level which exists at a receptor as a result of existing traffic conditions, without the addition of noise generated by the proposed undertaking which would be considered a new source of noise.
First row receiver: are those receivers (or receptors) adjacent to a town roadway having sound level differences that are imperceptible and as such are within 3 dBA of the noisiest receiver sound level.
Logarithmic Energy Equivalent Continuous Sound Pressure Level - (Leq): the constant A-weighted sound pressure level over the time period in question that results in the same total sound energy as the observed sound, measured in decibels (dBA).
Leq (T), Leq (8), Leq (16): means the A-weighted level of a steady sound carrying the same total energy in the time period T as the observed fluctuating sound. The time period T is given in hours. The Leq (8) is the night-time constant A-weighted sound level measured or calculated for the 8 hour time period 23:00 to 07:00, measured in decibels (dBA). The Leq (16) is the daytime constant A-weighted sound level as measured or calculated for the 16 hour time period 07:00 to 23:00, measured in decibels (dBA).
Noise: means unwanted sound.
Noise attenuation (control) measure: means a physical measure which can be used to achieve compatibility for the specific land use or activity with respect to noise from transportation sources and/or stationary sources. Noise control measures may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Noise barrier: means a wall, berm, wall/berm combination or similar structure, used as a noise control measure, and high enough to break the line-of-sight between the source and the receptor.
The minimum surface density (face weight) is 20 kg/m2. Subject to technical justification, the surface density can be reduced to no lower than 10 kg/m2 for:
The barrier should be structurally sound, appropriately designed to withstand wind and snow load, and constructed without cracks or surface gaps. Any gaps under the barrier that are necessary for drainage purposes should be minimized and localized, so that acoustical performance of the barrier is maintained.
Alternatively to the above description and specification, noise barriers complying with the requirements and certification of CAN/CSA-Z107.9-00 (R2004) – Standard for Certification of Noise Barriers (Reaffirmed 2004), by the Canadian Standards Association, are acceptable.
The term noise barrier is used interchangeably with the term acoustic barrier or simply a barrier.
Noise consultant: is a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.), licensed by the Professional Engineers of Ontario to practice in the Province of Ontario, and with demonstrated experience in the field of acoustics and noise control.
Noise sensitive commercial purpose building: means a building used for a commercial purpose that includes one or more habitable rooms used as sleeping facilities such as a hotel and a motel.
Noise sensitive institutional purpose building: means a building used for an institutional purpose, including an educational facility, a day nursery, a hospital, a health care facility, a shelter for emergency housing, a community centre, a place of worship and a detention centre. A place of worship located in commercially or industrially zoned lands is not considered a noise sensitive institutional purpose building.
Noise sensitive land use: means
From a land use planning perspective, a noise sensitive land use may be comprised of spaces that are noise sensitive and spaces that are not noise sensitive. The OLA associated with a noise sensitive land use is considered a noise sensitive space.
A land use that would normally be considered noise sensitive, such as a dwelling, but is located within the property boundaries of the stationary source is not considered a noise sensitive land use.
Outdoor Living Area (OLA): (applies to impact assessments of transportation sources) means that part of a noise sensitive land use that is:
The OLA includes:
The following considerations apply to OLA’s:
Priority sites list: a list of potential noise wall construction locations based on a Noise Barrier Retrofit Needs and Cost Assessment Study completed on behalf of the town by a noise consultant and updated from time to time. The Noise Study and resulting Priority Sites List of potential noise wall construction locations are based on projected future (10 year) traffic volumes.
Roadway: a common and public roadway, street, avenue, parkway, driveway, square, place, bridge, viaduct or trestle, or any part of which is intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles and includes the area between the lateral property lines thereof.
Warning clause: means a notification of or obligation to notify a potential purchaser or tenant of a potential annoyance due to an existing source of environmental noise. When circumstances warrant, agreements that are registered on title to the lands in question should incorporate provisions for using warning clauses. Warning clauses would be included in agreements of Offers of Purchase and Sale, lease/rental agreements and condominium declarations. Alternatively, easements in respect of noise may also be appropriate in some circumstances.
Warning clause Type A: “Purchasers/tenants are advised that sound levels due to increasing road traffic may occasionally interfere with some activities of the dwelling occupants as the sound levels exceed the sound level limits of the Municipality and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.”
Warning clause Type B: “Purchasers/tenants are advised that despite the inclusion of noise control features in the development and within the building units, sound levels due to increasing road traffic may on occasions interfere with some activities of the dwelling occupants as the sound levels exceed the sound level limits of the Municipality and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.”
The Director of Engineering and Construction shall be responsible for ensuring that Parts A and B of this procedure are incorporated into the review of road noise related complaints and the roadway design process.
The Director of Development Engineering shall be responsible for ensuring that Part C of this procedure is incorporated into the review and approval process for development applications.
Procedure Number: MS-CDV-002-003
Parent Policy: MS-CDV-002
Section: Municipal Services
Sub-Section: Community Development
Author: Engineering and Construction Department
Effective Date: 2013 Dec 16
Review by Date: 2022
Appendix I - Site Eligibility and Noise Calculation Method
Appendix II - Noise Wall Technical Requirements
Appendix II - Diagram of a Standard Wooden Noise Wall
Livable Oakville Official Plan
Region of Halton Noise Abatement Policy for Regional Roads (Retrofit Locations)
Roadway Noise Assessment Criteria and Procedures, Ministry of Environment/Ministry of Transportation Protocol (February 1986.)
MOECC Environmental Noise Guideline Stationary and Transportation Sources- Approval and Planning, Publication NPC-300 (August 2013)
Ontario Reg. 586/06 Local Improvement Charges-Priority Lien Status as amended.