Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Noise Ordinance Creates Concerns At Commission Meeting

How Much Noise Is Too Much? Where Should Loud Sounds Be Allowed?

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- At Tuesday's Glades County Commission meeting, commissioners didn't exactly like a proposed ordinance as written which will regulate noise in the unincorporated rural areas of the county. The public hearing on the proposed ordinance will be re-heard on July 8.

As Commissioner Donna Storter Long told her constituents in her monthly report:

Board considered Noise Control Ordinance that will establish decibel guidelines for determining noise disturbance at different times of the day, with provisions for exceptions and waivers with enforcement by the county’s Code Enforcement Officer and Glades County Sheriff with penalties for non-compliance including fines or imprisonment upon conviction and civil remedies. County Attorney Pringle noted this ordinance was initiated by Commissioner Dennis Griffin.

County Attorney Pringle explained the ordinance would not apply to noise created by the discharge of firearms as the state legislature has clearly mandated that any and all regulations involving firearms is preempted by/to the state.

Equipment and training will be required for enforcement officers. Commissioner Beck inquired about recalibration and certification of the decibel monitors so that testimony concerning violations of the ordinance would stand in court. County Manager Carlisle explained the equipment already purchased came with certification and software to update it. Chairman Storter commented that noise level measuring would be made on the property lines not at the site of the cause of the noise.

Moore Haven City Councilman John Ahern addressed the Board concerning adding a clause that would allow the City to opt into the coverage (currently written to apply only to unincorporated parts of the county) and mentioned the issue of yard-work equipment noise in the city during church hours.

Paul McGehee of Glades Electric Coop inquired of the effect on this ordinance when GEC had to operate large generators and was told that pre-existing (but not expansion of) industrial operations were exempt as well as emergency operations; also exempt are ordinary noise generated by railroads, shipping lanes and airports.

Commissioner Beck inquired about restricting the noise of the operation of model plane in the east section of the cemetery (which is not yet open for burials) and grave digging while a service was being held in the Ortona Cemetery.

Commissioner Stanley inquired about ordinance application to operation of airboats at 4:30 AM and other recreational boats.

Board continued the Public Hearing until the July 8 meeting to allow Mr. Pringle to revise the proposed ordinance to address the concerns of and issues raised by the Commissioners.

Sunday Morning News Page On Noise And What's Too Loud

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