Council revises noise ordinance | Local News


The city council discussed a proposal to change the city’s noise regulations during its August 17 session. And while there has been no formal vote on the matter, council generally agrees with the Planning and Zoning Commission that the use of a decibel standard should not be removed from the proposed requirements. by the staff.

At its July meeting, members of the Planning and Zoning Commission indicated that they were uncomfortable with the proposal to eliminate the use of a decibel-meter in the application of regulations, and council members seemed to agree, and suggested that staff keep the decibel meter as a tool for enforcing regulations.

Director of Development Services John Wesley said staff had reviewed orders from other towns and villages and worked with the sheriff’s office, city attorney and city attorney to prepare the order revised. Both prosecutor and MCSO captain Larry Kratzer agree the proposed new order should be easier to use and enforce than the existing order, Wesley said.

Kratzer told council that the MCSO will act on instructions from the city, however, he highlighted some of the concerns of MPs.

These include certification, maintenance and calibration of instruments; adequate training in the use and reading of the equipment; additional layers to the system and a requirement that the reading be taken from the location of the person with the complaint. He said it can often be in someone’s room at 2 a.m., making it an uncomfortable situation for everyone.

Staff had proposed removing specific decibel limits and replacing them with other objective criteria that can be used to determine whether noise from an activity is “unnecessary, unusual or unreasonable noise, excessive, disruptive and / or embarrassing “.

The main noise complaints the city has received in recent years have been associated with vacation rentals and events occurring at these homes, according to Wesley. He said the current noise ordinance has not been effective in addressing these issues. Staff are reviewing the current noise ordinance and have proposed changes that would make it easier to enforce noise offenses.

The proposed ordinance amendment provides two new definitions, one for “noise sensitive area” (property normally used for sleeping or normally used as a school, church, hospital or public library) and one for “Unruly Gathering”.

Councilor Peggy McMahon suggested broadening the criteria for noise sensitive areas.

The definition of noise sensitive area will help protect residential areas during the day and the definition of unruly gathering will be useful for application in vacation homes and other similar situations where large parties occur.

In addition, the section of the ordinance that eliminates the current use of the decibel approach creates the standards. This section of the ordinance establishes five conditions which can be considered as noise offenses if they occur at specific times. These are:

* Cause or permit noise by using, operating or permitting the playback of any electronic musical device, television set, amplifier, musical instrument or instrument, machine or apparatus used for the production, reproduction or emission of sound .

* Cause or allow any noise in connection with the loading or unloading or operation of any vehicle.

* Use or authorize the use of landscape maintenance equipment before 5 a.m.

* Use or allow the use of hand or power tools or any other machine or equipment not authorized by city code.

* Participate in or allow yelling, yelling, malicious or deliberate shouting or any other form of harsh vocalization by any person or group of people.

During the hours between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., these conditions may be considered a violation if they:

* Produce any excessive, disruptive and / or annoying noise that is clearly audible at a distance of 200 feet or more from the sound source; and

b. Are continuous or intermittent for a period of at least 15 minutes; and

vs. To disturb the peace and quiet of a neighborhood or of a reasonable person of ordinary sensitivity.

During the hours between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., these conditions may be considered a violation in noise sensitive areas if they meet the above criteria and disturb the peace of a neighborhood or at least two or more people do not. not occupying the same residence or physical location and are not exempt in this or any other city code or ordinance.

Section D of the ordinance deals with prohibited noise and states: “It is illegal for any person to make, allow, allow or create excessive noise, which disturbs the peace or tranquility of a neighborhood, a family or of a reasonable person of ordinary sensitivity. For the purposes of this paragraph, the determination of prohibited noise should be made on the basis of the circumstances existing at the time and place of the violation and the standards set out in Article 11-1-7 (c). In determining that noise is prohibited under this section, a reasonable person of ordinary sensitivity may include any deputy to the Maricopa County Sheriff or other city employees designated by the General Manager to enforce this section.

Section E of the ordinance deals with unruly gatherings and states: “A peace officer may reduce an unruly gathering by reasonable means, including, but not limited to, summoning and / or dispersing the persons participating. at the rally.

The noise ordinance has been presented for discussion only and staff will continue to work on the ordinance with comments provided. The Council and the Planning Commission will hold hearings and consider a final version at a later date.

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