New noise ordinance for Chesterfield County

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A warning for all Chesterfield County residents: you may soon want to keep it down. The county is about to re-write the rules on excessive noise.

Chesterfield County's original noise ordinance was shot down by the Virginia Supreme Court for being too vague. So this new wording leaves nothing to the imagination. Everyone from drivers to pet owners better turn down the volume.

"One of our major goals is of course to maintain the quality of life and a quality of life issue is the enjoyment of one's home or environment from excessive noise," said Dale District supervisor James Holland.

Last year loud music complaints boosted past 2,000. Barking dogs generated more than 1,000 complaints.

"This is a key point, and that's what the ordinance seeks to do is to ensure that we have moderation in noise and not noise that is perpetual for over 10 minutes for example," Holland said.

When it comes to pets: a neighbor, at home or in an apartment, should not hear the animal from more than 50 feet away or for more than 10 minutes consecutively.

Music, yelling, trash trucks or lawn care should not be heard from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Excessive noise outside a school, hospital or court in session is also prohibited.

"It will be a reasonable ordinance that can be enforced," he said.

Chesterfield business owner Bill Bagwell is surrounded by noise all day. Even he wants his peace and quiet.

"If everybody had a little more respect when they got to areas where people can hear it, it really wouldn't be a big deal," said Bagwell.

He says drivers should not be blasting loud music through a neighborhood.

"We get guys that come in and say hey yeah they got a ticket with the system we put in," he said.

So Bagwell is in support of the ordinance.

"It should have virtually no effect on us. It'll just make people more aware and make them more careful when they're riding around. Hopefully, they'll show a little respect to the people around them," Bagwell said.

To read the new noise ordinance click here.

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