CAT Deals with Noise and Light from Traffic on Nearby Major Road

In the case of Taplin v. YRVLCC 1002, an owner in the vacant land condominium asserted that noise and light (from car headlights and streetlights) coming from a nearby major road were a nuisance to the applicant. The applicant claimed that the condominium corporation was obligated to plant some trees to offer the applicant some protection from the traffic noise and light. The applicant claimed that the other units in the condominium had such protection, and that the condominium corporation was therefore obligated to provide similar protection to the applicant.

The Tribunal dismissed the claim.  The Tribunal said:

The noise in question is ordinary traffic noise, as would be expected on a major road. The lighting concern stems from vehicle lights and streetlights. The Applicant does not claim the Respondent is creating or permitting the problem. They do not suggest the noise or light is unreasonable. Rather, the Applicant presents the matter as inequitable – as others have the benefit of the trees and landscaping they do not.

The Applicant is not claiming any particular individual(s) are causing the noise or lighting concern. They describe noise and lighting issues which appear largely beyond the condominium’s control. The Applicant seeks a specific outcome, the planting of trees and related landscaping at the corner near their property. They feel the request is reasonable and “consistent with the design of the Community”. While I appreciate the Applicant’s concerns and desired outcome, this matter is not within the CAT’s jurisdiction.

In my view, this case shows that some types of noise or other nuisance which are essentially outside the condominium corporation’s control fall outside the jurisdiction of the Tribunal.

I suppose the owner might consider a claim in another forum, based upon an allegation that the condominium corporation’s maintenance or repair obligations could require the condominium corporation to plant trees and/or make certain landscaping alterations. But the merits of any such claim would very much depend upon all of the available evidence respecting the trees on the property and the related responsibilities of the condominium corporation.

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