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Boone Noise Ordinance Still Not Resolved PDF Print
Written by Gary Childers   
Thursday, 12 January 2012 06:42

Much noise about noise, but not much consensus at Tuesday night’s Boone Town Council meeting, as the council continues to struggle with a workable noise ordinance.  On the one hand residents near music venues such as Terry Taylor are saying they want their sleep, “So what I’m requesting is that after 11 ‘o clock, people need to be able to sleep.” On the other hand business owners like Mark Dixon are wondering if restrictions will allow them to stay in business, “If that becomes a problem, you won’t have to worry about places having music later because we won’t exist.  If we can’t have live music ‘til 2, we won’t have live music.” During the special called meeting Tuesday evening, Boone Town Council tackled the hard decisions needing to be made to finalize the revised version of a noise ordinance that was originally adopted in July. Since declaring a moratorium on enforcement, members of the town’s staff and Council have spent a great deal of time studying noise ordinances from town’s similar to Boone and conducting tests of their own. This has been done with the intent of developing a policy that will provide the proper balance of supporting businesses with late night live or recorded musical entertainment while protecting the peace and quiet of residents in neighborhoods near those businesses.   Council members struggled at times to reach consensus on topics such as; from where to take decibel readings, how to take decibel readings, should the standards apply equally in all zoning areas, should there be the same or different standards on weekends, should there be the same or different standards at different times of the day, how many warnings should be issued before fines are assessed, and, toughest of all, determining the actual maximum decibel levels allowed for venues using recorded or live music. The opinions of Council members were so varied that several times during the meeting there were multiple suggestions being discussed simultaneously causing confusion among Council members, the Mayor, and town attorney. However, they remained diligent as they worked through the difficult process finally recommending the following revisions governing venues emanating recorded or live music:
Weekdays; Sunday through Thursday
>From 7:00 am till 11:00 pm sounds levels are not to exceed 65 decibels
>From 11:00 pm till 7:00 am not to exceed 55 decibels.
Weekends; Friday and Saturday
>From 10:00 am till 10:00 pm sound levels are not to exceed 85 decibels
>From 10:00 pm till 2:00 am not to exceed 65 decibels
>From 2:00 am till 10:00 am not to exceed 55 decibels.
The guidelines Council made during Tuesday’s work session will now be used to revise the noise ordinance yet again. It will be redrafted by town attorney, then back to Council members for consideration by their February meeting. After the meeting, Council member Rennie Brantz stated that he thought the ordinance would be approved by March.

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