I live in the Invue condo tower on Springfield Avenue. My condo occupies a northeast position overlooking Orchard Plaza mall, directly behind the old Zellers store.
My complaint stems from the excessive noise created by snow-removal equipment clearing the Orchard Plaza parking lot between 11:30 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. This noise has recently occurred during the early morning hours of Jan. 8, 9 and 10, but occurs anytime a modicum of snow falls.
I fully realize that snow removal is a necessity. My complaint regards the time period and the unnecessary noise created by the snow plows.
It is evident that regardless of the amount of snow deposited in the parking lot, plowing begins around 11:30 p.m. Two centimetres is enough to release the plows.
They have to really hurry to plow before it all melts. No money in plowing melted snow. It seems ridiculous that such a small amount of snow accumulation requires such attention.
Now, about large accumulations. No argument that plowing is required, but why start at 11:30 p.m. and continue until 5:30 a.m.? My view from an upper level condo tells me there are no cars in many sections of the mall parking lot as early as 8 p.m. Why not start plowing at this time, not when most are trying to sleep?
It also seems that plowing always commences in areas of the parking lot most distant from residential buildings. Eventually, they plow the area behind the mall, this usually occurring after 1:30 a.m. Why not plow these areas between 8 and 11 p.m., when most people are still up?
The second part of my complaint regards unnecessary noise created by the snow plowing equipment. It would seem there is a common practice of scraping the deposited snow with a shovel set to scour the pavement. The actual scraping of snow does not create much noise. It is the constant dragging of the plow across the pavement that creates the disturbance.
Usually, the type of machine creating this noise is a Bobcat. Common practice is to set the shovel to pavement height and
scrape, creating an unimaginable racket at 3 a.m.
A perfect example of "pavement plowing" occurred the other morning. Large trucks were arriving to haul away the mounds of snow that had been plowed the evening before.
Not content to just shovel up these mounds and deposit them into the waiting trucks, the enthusiastic Bobcats were pounding the pavement, intent on collecting the last vestiges of the already melting snow - at 4 a.m.
An obvious solution is to instruct the Bobcat operators not to scrape the pavement, especially when the snowfall was light and the accumulated snow is melting. For whatever snow might remain, salt and sand would solve the problem.
In summary, start plowing as soon as sections of the parking lot are free from cars. Plow the areas nearest residential buildings before midnight. Only plow when a significant snowfall occurs and stop "plowing the pavement."
I have a right to the quiet enjoyment of my property, and if a neighbour whose commercial undertaking is damaging that right and I can demonstrate damages, I can pursue that through the courts.