Silence is golden: Asheville City Council considers stricter noise rules

Silence is golden: Asheville City Council considers stricter noise rules-attachment0

Next Tuesday, Nov. 13, Asheville City Council will vote on making the city’s noise ordinance more restrictive.

The new rules add shouting, yelling and parties to the list of “activities that shall not be engaged in so as to cause a noise disturbance on neighboring premises.” The proposed changes will also make it easier to penalize noise that takes place near any residentially zoned area or occurs from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

The ordinance changes adds a number of other factors — such as whether the noise is amplified or happens frequently —  to a list police officers can use to determine if they should issue a citation.

The new rules come after some residents complained about noise in their neighborhoods, including sounds coming from some local businesses, and said that enforcement isn’t strict enough. The city conducted an online survey in August and also held an informational meeting. The survey got 1,045 responses.

The proposal keeps the old ordinance’s “reasonable person” standard, rather than adopting a formal decibel measurement, as some citizens had requested. While noting that the standard is subjective, the staff report on the issue cites the cost and training required to make decibel measurements. The changes, city staff’s report claims, give the community a “clearer understanding of what constitutes a noise disturbance.”

Asheville City Council meets at 5 p.m., Nov. 13, on the second floor of City Hall.

SHARE

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.