Noise ordinance to be reviewed

Published 8:28 am Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Kenbridge officials said the town will take another look it its noise ordinance and may adopt some elements of the county’s recently adopted regulation.

“Some of these things may apply in the county, but you may not want it to be that restrictive in town,” Town Attorney Cal Spencer told the council at its Tuesday, March 15 meeting.  “I don’t want us to pass something that will be so restrictive it will get a lot of complaints.”

Mayor Emory Hodges agreed.

“It needs to be simple and direct, what you’re trying to get after,” he said.

Specifically, council members worried about the ordinance opening a flood-gate of complaints and legal wrangling over barking dogs.

Hodges noted he knows of one dog, “He barks 23 out of 24 hours.”

Meanwhile, council member Mike Bender said he has a neighbor, “You can hear his dog a quarter mile away.” Bender said he wouldn’t complain, but someone else might.

In February, the Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors ended months of debate when it adopted a noise ordinance during their Thursday, Feb. 11, meeting.

The county ordinance calls for meters to be used to gauge noise. Kenbridge council member and Police Chief Raymond Hite noted the meters can cost from $500 to $2,500.

Kenbridge and Victoria have their own ordinance, but the county is asking the localities to look at adopt it. Victoria, however, changed its noise ordinance late last year and made sure not to require the use of meters.

The supervisors adopted the ordinance after a public hearing in which only Don Westerlund of Falls Road spoke, complaining that he lives near a kennel. He said noise from the kennel forces his family to “watch television with the volume on high and sleep with a white noise generator at night to drown out their frequent barking,” but was advised the ordinance might apply because it puts a limit on decimal loudness between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.