Save the Serbian Orthodox Centre Holy Trinity (Binbrook)
Thank you to everyone who signed and supported this campaign.
UPDATE: Serbian Day event to continue. The City of Hamilton has granted the right to hold this event this year, but will have noise bylaw inspectors on site, to monitor and advise us on how to keep the noise down to a reasonable level for our neighbors, and to provide advice and guidance for future years. We are hopeful that this is a step in the right direction. Please come out July 4/5 and support this great Serbian tradition.
ORIGNINAL: The City of Hamilton has issued a statement that they will not grant any further Special Occasion Permits, for any event, that is to be held at the Serbian Orthodox Centre Holy Trinity, at 2545 Guyatt Road, Glanbrook.
This will prevent any significant cultural events from taking place at Holy Trinity, including our traditional, annual Serbian Day celebrations. The Special Occasions Permit is required for events like this to take place. Without the Special Occasion Permit, we cannot have amplified music and cannot serve alcohol. It would effectively shut down any Serbian Day activities, and put the entire grounds at stake, as an ongoing concern.
The City of Hamilton claims that they are doing this “due to ongoing violations of the City of Hamilton By-Law No. 03-020, a By-Law to Regulate Noise (“Noise By-Law”). The Serbian Orthodox Centre Holy Trinity charitable organization, who owns and manages the property, has not received any written citations or fines, and does not know who and when these alleged violations took place, nor who complained about the noise. We are informally told that three residents around the property have complained about the noise, numerous times, but the City has not given us any documentation of who and when.
The property is used by the owners, but is also rented out to third parties. The alleged violations might have been committed by such third parties, but we really do not know. The charitable organization property owners and the Serbian people, and many other organizations in the Greater Hamilton area, are being unjustly punished, because apparently three people complained about the noise. Our limited number of events are typically held only during the summer months, and mostly on weekends and during daylight hours.
Specifically, article 3 and 3(1) of the Noise By-Law state that “No person shall emit or cause or permit the emission of sound…by the operation of any electronic device or group of connected electronic devices incorporating one or more loudspeakers”… that can be heard on an adjacent property. Basically, no amplified music. But the Special Occasions Permit allows for an exemption to this rule. If the City would grant it, like they have in previous years, then there would be no issue. But this year (2009) they refuse, and the reason given is the vaguely stated “due to ongoing violations of the “Noise By-Law”, without any further evidence or documentation.
We, the Directors of Holy Trinity, are fighting this bureaucratic ruling against granting us a one time Special Occasion Permit for Serbian Day, for the July 4-5 weekend, and expect to win, as the case is so blatantly unjust. But, this petition is being organized to achieve a greater goal: we want a permanent exemption for the Holy Trinity ground from the Noise By-Law. The By-Law has a clause stating that a permanent exemption can be granted by City Council. We will be formally petitioning City Council to grant such a permanent exemption to our beloved grounds, and to let us continue using the grounds like we have been doing for the past 35 years. And, as it has been used for over 50 years by us, and others before us.
We will be applying to the City Council of the City of Hamilton to grant a permanent exemption to the Noise By-Law for the Serbian Orthodox Centre Holy Trinity (at 2545 Guyatt Road, Glanbrook), as permitted under Section 15 of the By-Law.
Please sign this petition indicating to the City Councilors of Hamilton that the 12,000 + people of Serbian descent living in the City of Hamilton, their many friends, and many others from beyond, support this application. Many residents of the City benefit from the grounds, and many Tourists visit the grounds and participate in the events held there, and bring significant Tourist dollars to the Greater Hamilton Community. In past years, even the Prime Minister of Canada attended an event! The grounds are used for Cultural, Religious, Folklore, and Sport events, and are an asset to the community. The needs of three should not override the needs of tens of thousands.
We need as many Greater Hamilton area residents, of voting age, as possible, to independently sign the petition. Each person should create a separate entry. Get your husband or wife, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, adult children, Kumovi.... anyone of voting age, to participate.
If someone that you know is not computer savvy, or does not have access to the Internet, please help them sign the petition, even if using your e-mail address, but with all their other details (name, address, etc.).
This is a numbers game. Hamilton area voters make the biggest difference. Please let's get every Hamilton residents’ signature that we can.