City changes noise ordinance - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

City changes noise ordinance

February 17, 2004

Albany- The music at many events can be heard blocks away, but changes made by the city commission stipulate that after 9 o'clock at night, the music has to be turned down.

"There was concern from the state court judge that it needed to mirror the state law, or be in compliance with the state law," says Code Enforcement Officer, Robert Carter.

Under the previous ordinance, a person would be in violation of the law if the noise was audible 50 feet from the source, but to comply with state law, commissioners voted to extend that distance to 100 feet.

"If it's loud music and it's outside, that's a hundred feet from it's source. So, they need to be aware to keep the music down to where it's not audible at 100 feet from it's source. If it's inside the building, or the residence, and causes a disturbance 100 feet away from the building, it should not be clearly audible," explains Carter.

Still, some commissioners propose adding a time restriction to the ordinance, and enacting an objective way to measure the noise level.

"This had been a thorny issue for us over the years. I think it reached a critical point a couple of months ago when we had a group that was doing a tent revival, and we probably got over 40 police calls for service during that time period," says City Manager, Janice Allen Jackson.

Jackson says the commission is also trying to come up with a way to make allowances for outdoor community events.

"There are a lot of events where there would be outdoor music played, and the commission wants us to be able to regulate those reasonably, but they also want to be able to carve out some exceptions for activities of community interest."

A task Jackson believes is feasible, but says will take a little work.

Posted at 7:00 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com

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