Wimpy Town Code

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Noise Abatement and Control (ONAC), Noise Ordinances, Activism, Lobbying, Advocacy, Testimony, Rights, Enforcement.
Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:30 am
Hi all,

In my town there is a code written regarding noise pollution. My problem is that it's not specific enough. It simply states that you may not disturb the rest of another person after 11pm.

It's very vague, and doesn't have a decibel limit during the other hours. I live next door to a bar that has an outdoor patio. They have bands that blast their music all summer long from 7pm to 10:45pm. I don't mind the music, it's just that the volume is way more than necessary. Also, half the time the band is playing to a very small crowd.

I have 2 plans. Plan A: go to the town and propose that a decibel limit be set. If that doesn't work, Plan B: buy a train whistle and fight fire with fire...

Has anyone ever tried Plan B before? I realize it's a bit crazy, but I really think it might work... Please share your thoughts.

Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:13 pm
There are different legislative models on noise ordinances. The requirement for decibel meters might create more enforcement problems. For example, the PD would be required to purchase and train officers on the proper use of meters, and sometimes, the offender can challenge the readings in court. 'Plainly audible' is a different standard, that means that if an officer can hear the offending noise past a certain hour, the offender can be cited.

The Library section on NoiseOFF has several documents on this issue:


Model Community Noise Control Ordinance
A report published by the EPA that includes a recommended model ordinance for cities and counties.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1975 [PDF]

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