Wed07302014

Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

   2014 39.95 HSD w VIDor PH-Banner2-500-x-125

Board adopts new noise ordinance

King George Supervisors last week on June 4 unanimously adopted a revised draft noise ordinance following a second public hearing with some new amendments.

The new ordinance was developed by county attorney Eric Gregory with lots of input from the Board of

Supervisors, Sheriff Steve Dempsey and members of the public during two advertised public hearings.
The first hearing was on May 7 with 18 commenting, and eleven of those from Fairview Beach. After numerous amendments, the second public hearing last Tuesday drew three residents providing comments, all from Fairview Beach.

Peggy Myruski complained that she can’t hear her television in the house on weekend evenings due to the noise from music emanating from the restaurants along the beach. Those restaurants are actually in Maryland, since they are on piers in the Potomac River, which is owned by Maryland, which also collects their tax dollars.

She also said that setting the decibel level at 70 on weekend evenings means they can’t go to sleep before midnight and sends a message that the restaurants are “more important than we are.”

Andy Myruski and Terry O’Toole, who had both spoken last month at the first hearing, took a more conciliatory tone, with both agreeing that the proposal was a good start to replace the existing ordinance that had been found to be unenforceable due to vagueness.

Both also urged that reports be requested from the Sheriff at board meetings over the next few months, as had previously been suggested, with an eye to tightening the ordinance.

 

APPROVED ORDINANCE
One big change was to delete a section that would have addressed such things as habitually barking dogs and other frequent or repeated noise. Supervisors have tasked the county attorney to develop another ordinance that would address such nuisances.  

The new ordinance is based on decibel levels and also contains some significant exceptions and exemptions.

PROHIBITED NOISE GENERALLY
The ordinance makes it unlawful for anyone to create any noise or sound which exceeds the decibel level of 75 between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. It further makes it unlawful for creating noise which exceeds the decibel level of 65 during the night-time of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Those decibel levels and times apply only to Sunday through Thursday.

There is an exception for weekend nights that is applied as follows:  
On Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to midnight (12 a.m.), the allowable decibel level is 70.
That exception when the decibel level of 70 applies is also between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. on “nights preceding federal and state-recognized holidays.” That was intended to apply to Thursday nights of holiday weekends, but presumably would also apply to Sunday nights when a holiday falls, or is moved, to Mondays.

EXCEPTIONS & EXEMPTIONS
Exceptions would include such things as alarms for the purpose of alerting people to an emergency, emergency work, and sirens made by any emergency vehicle, along with the lawful discharge of firearms and noise caused by activities related to the repair and maintenance of public utility systems, equipment and roads.

The sounds of booming gun testing or other noises from the Naval Base at Dahlgren or other military installations, along with any other noise created by any governmental activity, are lawful and are included as exceptions in the new noise ordinance, as in the old one.

The provisions of the proposed ordinance would also continue to exempt noise caused by agricultural, horticultural and silvicultural activities, and sound from places of worship, including church bells.

Other exemptions include sound traditionally associated with sporting events, sound from events conducted, authorized or permitted by the Department of Parks & Recreation and the school division and sounds emanating from the lawful operation of public or private landfills, utilities, and electrical power generation and transmission facilities.

New exemptions include those for sound produced by electrical power generators during electrical power outages at any time, and sound produced by home improvement, lawn maintenance and gardening activities between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Also exempted between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. are sounds produced from sawmill operations and those produced by “public and/or permitted ceremonies, celebrations, parades, sporting and other events.”

RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PROPERTY OWNER
In addition to those creating or causing noise, it is unlawful for a property owner to knowingly allow noise prohibited under the ordinance. The owner may also be charged with a violation in addition to the person creating the noise.

ENFORCEMENT & MEASUREMENT
Enforcement of the ordinance would be through complaints made to the King George Sheriff’s Office or by the Virginia State Police.
The measurement of the noise would be by the use of properly calibrated decibel meters made at any point within the receiving property affected by the noise.

PENALTIES
Civil fines of $250 would be assessed for a first offense, with $500 assessed for a second offense within a one-year period. A third offense with a year would constitute a Class 2 misdemeanor, which is a criminal offense, and the offender would be subject to those penalties applicable under state law. Those violations could draw higher fines with possible jail time.

Phyllis Cook

201407chamber

 

201407source

201404getaway

 

201401kgpr

Contact Us

The Journal Press, Inc. P. O. Box 409, 10250 Kings Hwy. King George, VA 22485

EditorialAdvertisingOffice
Jessica Herrink, Publisher

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Carla Gutridge
540-709-7061
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Leonard Banks, Production
540-469-4196
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Leonard Banks, Sports editor
540-469-4196
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Steve Detwiler
540-709-7288
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Drue Murray
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phyllis Cook
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Charlene Franks
540-709-7075
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Linda Farneth,
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Elizabeth Foreman,
540-709-7076
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Charlene Franks, Accounts
540-709-7075
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Richard Leggitt
540-993-7460
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Bonnie Gouvisis
540-775-2024
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Lori Deem, Church & Community
540-709-7495
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Advertising Information
540-775-2024
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Jessica Herrink
540-469-4031
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Journal Print Shop

Contact Steve Detwiler

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

540-709-7288 • 540-775-2024

Quikey

Bulletline

link4

Your Invitation Place

Balloon House