Shaky late-night video, decibel meters and evidence taken by a bylaw officer were used in B.C. Supreme Court Tuesday, part of a neighbourhood war over noise at Sun Peaks.
But it's not the shouts and screams of late-night parties on the mountain that's driving a resident to distraction - it's the incessant drone of a neighbour's hot tub.
Renate Kals, a longtime Sun Peaks Resort resident and former mayoral candidate who has battled the regional district and municipality over rental of homes as mini-hotels, is seeking an injunction in B.C. Supreme Court to stop noise from a neighbour's hot tub.
"My client says that hot tub constitutes a private nuisance and disturbs her peace and quiet, particularly in the evening," said Kals' lawyer, John Drayton.
She is suing neighbouring owners Donna and Ross Vernon and Murray Holmes.
The owners rent out the home. They did some work recommended by a maintenance worker to quiet the noise. But Drayton said it did not make any measurable difference.
Kals took surreptitious video of a decibel meter on her property line several times to demonstrate the drone of the hot tub exceeded what Drayton said was the 45-decibel standard for most municipalities.
The resort municipality of Sun Peaks, however, sets a 55-decibel upper limit - considered roughly twice as loud as 45 decibels.
Kals sought an injunction from B.C. Supreme Court to ensure the hot tub noise does not exceed 45 decibels, also a World Health Organization nighttime standard.
Acting for the defendants, lawyer Jeff Frame presented evidence - based on another property Kals owns in the Shuswap - that he said demonstrates she is "hypersensitive and overly demanding on neighbours."
"The evidence shows a glimpse into who they are (Kals and her spouse), their expectations and how they deal with neighbours."
Frame also told B.C. Supreme Court judge Robert Powers that videos of Kals holding the decibel meter at various times during the day and night - including one that showed levels up to 77 decibels during a party - could not determine normal background levels compared to noise made by the tub.
In one instance, video of the decibel meter supposedly measuring noise from the hot tub was taken while the unit was off, Frame said.
The hearing was adjourned after Powers advised the two sides to come to an agreement on a scientific and independent way to measure noise at the property line. He also advised them that getting out of court might be the surest way to solve the problem.
"The parties are spending a lot of money on skilled lawyers. Maybe they should spend money on skilled experts so they know what the levels are."