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Last updateThu, 19 Nov 2015 8pm

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Revised noise ordinance get hearing next week

King George Supervisors will hold another public hearing on a newly-revised draft noise ordinance at next week’s meeting on Tuesday, June 4.      

At its last meeting on May 21, the board made some significant changes to the proposed ordinance that require it to be re-advertised with another hearing to be held.



A new draft ordinance is available for public review in the county administrator’s office, on the 2nd floor of the Revercomb Administration building, located behind the King George Courthouse.

County attorney Eric Gregory provided a list of specific revisions as part of his report that accompanied the complete text of the new draft proposal.

 

SECTION DELETED
Some additional amendments to the last draft were made during last week’s meeting. One big change is elimination of a section that had originally been inserted to address barking dogs, that was called, “Prohibited noise specifically.”

That proposed section was supposed to have addressed barking dogs along with other frequent or repeated noises. In addition to annoying animal noises, the section would have applied to other noise disturbances that might constitute a violation of that section, regardless of the time it occurred.  

Supervisors agreed to delete that section because of concerns about enforceability due to vagueness, along with the possibility of unintended consequences.

Supervisor Joe Grzeika reiterated the real issue of barking dogs in particular, and got agreement to task Gregory to look into a potential new ordinance that would address barking dogs, along with other nuisances.

NEW DRAFT
Specific revisions to the original draft ordinance include the following.  

Definitions have been revised for “Agricultural Production” to remove “for commercial purposes.” This would result in extending exemption for agricultural production to smaller farms and gardeners who produce agricultural products for their own or their family’s use/consumption.

Revision made to provide allowances for weekends (Friday and Saturday nights) and prescribed federal and state holidays, which would extend night-time hours. They were changed from 10 p.m. to midnight, with a maximum decibel level of 70 during those timeframes.

Deleted “including sawmill operations,” from one section and the hour restrictions. Instead a new subsection was inserted specifically for sawmill operations, which includes hour restrictions between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
This would result in there being no noise restrictions upon agricultural, horticultural, and silvicultural production, but would impose decibel level restrictions specifically on sawmill operations between the hours just noted above, resulting in those operations having to abide by the lower decibel thresholds applicable to nighttime hours.

A new subsection was added to insert a new exemption to cover power generators during a power outage.
A new subsection was added for a new exemption for home, lawn, and garden work improvements between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

A clause was removed directing measurement from “property boundary on or from which such noise is generated.” The revised provision directs the sound measurement to be taken at any point within the receiving property affected by the sound. The change would remove the challenge of a deputy needing to identify a property boundary line.

Gregory agreed with a suggestion previously provided by Supervisor Joe Grzeika and advised that the board request Sheriff Steve Dempsey to provide summary reports concerning the implementation and enforcement of any new noise ordinance adopted later this year. He suggested they be provided at three-month and six-month intervals, adding that amendments can be subsequently made to the ordinance.

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