Victoria to stick with noise ordinance

Published 1:06 pm Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Victoria Town Council members said they feel comfortable with their noise ordinance and will not follow the county in revamping their regulations.

Officials said at the Tuesday, May 10, council meeting they believe the Victoria ordinance meets the requirements to gain a court conviction and that the town doesn’t want to incur the expense of buying a noise meter.

“If we buy one it’s going to be either in the other car or in the office,” Interim Town Manager Rodney Newton said.

In February, the Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors ended months of debate when it adopted a noise ordinance. The county ordinance calls for meters to be used to gauge noise. Victoria and Kenbridge have their own regulations, but the county has asked them to look at also adopting its ordinance.

Victoria changed its noise ordinance late last year and made sure not to require the use of meters.

Kenbridge officials said in March they will take another look at the town’s noise ordinance and may adopt some elements of the county’s.

Town officials said it might focus on barking dogs, loud mufflers and loud music, but also fear that it could open a flood-gate of complaints and legal wrangling over barking dogs.

Town Attorney Cal Spencer told the council at the April meeting that a committee will have to meet to examine the fine points of the ordinance and the town will have to be precise in what it develops.

“You don’t want citizens stopped for (just) any reason,” he said. “It has to be excessive.”

Raymond Hite, a council member and police chief, said the meters used to measure noise cost between $1,000 and $2,500, and there is a strict, 28-point guideline of specifications for the equipment to meet to get a conviction.