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Scappoose reduces construction hours

Sometimes the sound of progress is unwanted noise.

Heavy equipment transfers material on a development site in a residential area near Icenogle Loop in Scappoose. A new ordinance proposes to reduce construction hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to reduce impact to neighborhoods. Scappoose City Manager Michael Sykes says the city has received complaints from residents about frequent noise from construction sites. To address the noise complaints, the Scappoose City Council gave initial approval to change the city’s commercial construction hours, not allowing work after 7 p.m.

An ordinance presented to the council cites public healthy, safety and welfare of residents, saying the change is necessary to protect the livability of the city.

If the council gives final approval for the change, commercial construction will be limited to the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Weekend work is permitted from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, with Sundays and all federally recognized holidays off limits for commercial construction, demolition, excavation or external building repair.

Sykes said he brought the ordinance to the council “as a result of a number of complaints we’ve had about late operation hours, particularly at construction sites that are surrounded by residences.”

“We really, in a nutshell, changed the hours of operation,” Sykes said.

Currently, there are at least three active construction sites in Scappoose.

As the city observes a rapid rate of new housing development and braces for industrial growth, councilors and City Council candidates all site the impacts of growth as a major concern.

Mayor Scott Burge also inquired about noise from dump trucks and trash trucks, asking if noise from the early morning heavy traffic would be encompassed in the ordinance.

Burge said he felt it was all in the same effort of “finding ways to lessen the pain on the neighborhoods” as the city grows.

The ordinance specifically addresses construction, not transportation of trash or other materials. Sykes said the city hasn’t received any complaints about trucks operating too early, but Police Chief Norm Miller suggested the city could get a traffic plan with a list of routes from construction and waste

management companies if councilors wanted to try to reduce impacts to residential areas.

The ordinance will likely be brought back to the council for final approval next month.