Boone Town Council approves noise ordinance

By Anna Oakes (anna.oakes@mountaintimes.com)



Article Published: Feb. 23, 2012 | Modified: Mar. 6, 2012
Boone Town Council approves noise ordinance


After seven months of revisions to Boone’s noise ordinance that sparked vigorous debate among downtown business and residential communities, the Boone Town Council on Tuesday voted 3-2 in favor of the noise ordinance.

In approving the ordinance, the council voted to increase outdoor decibel restrictions for late-night concerts in business districts by five decibels over what was proposed at a January meeting of the council.

Council members Andy Ball and Allan Scherlen cast the dissenting votes. The approved ordinance restricts sound measured at or within 10 feet of a venue’s property line to 70 decibels from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday evenings and to 60 decibels from 12 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday mornings.

On weeknights, the standards would be 70 decibels until 11 p.m. and 60 decibels after that. After four written warnings, subsequent violations of the ordinance would result in $100, $200 and $500 fines.

The vote represented a compromise between standards proposed in January and the desires of business leaders and other citizens, though the decibel levels approved were not as high as these groups had hoped.

Opponents to the previous standards advocated for higher decibel levels for late-night concerts — 75 decibels until 2 a.m. on weeknights and 85 decibels until 2 a.m. on weekends.

At the meeting, area resident Mike McKee presented a petition arguing for these standards signed by 61 business representatives and 1,100 residents.

The council voted to enact the noise ordinance for a trial period of four months, during which no fines will be levied for violations.

Council member Rennie Brantz proposed the five-decibel increases to the restrictions that ultimately were approved.

The council also voted that the noise ordinance would be enforced in business districts due to complaints only. The draft had called for enforcement to be driven by complaints, as well as police patrols.

As proposed in the draft, the council voted that the ordinance enforcement would be driven by complaints and police observations in neighborhood districts.

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