Richmond City Council passes new noise ordinance

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond police will now be able to crack down on noise complaints in the city. Council members unanimously passed a renewed noise ordinance Monday night.

Five residents urged council to pass it while four others were opposed. Councilman Charles Samuels says Richmond needed something on the books that police could enforce.

You could get a ticket or even jail time for being too loud, day or night, if someone 50 feet away can hear the noise that includes playing a musical instrument. John Moser said it's too restrictive.

"The way this ordinance reads; try to create a community without color, and without sound, and without lively breath," said Moser who lives on the north side.

Zoe Anne Green said it's about time after having to deal with barking dogs in her neighborhood.

"We worked with animal control, police. It was a brutal 18 months of our lives to get some resolution and we lived six houses away," said Green who lives in the Museum District.

Councilman Samuels said this had to be done after a Virginia Supreme Court decision last April that ruled Virginia Beach's noise law unconstitutionally vague.

"I believe citizens need relief now," said Samuels who sponsored the ordinance.

Samuels said he looked at what other cities did around the state and country to combat noise.

"Let me be clear, this is not going to fix every problem with noise in our city. It does correct a Supreme Court decision that invalidated our decades old noise ordinance," said Samuels.

This is a class two misdemeanor that carries a sentence of up to six months in jail. On Tuesday, Councilman Samuels said he plans to start a work group to address any concerns. It will involve Richmond Police and Commonwealth Attorney's Office.

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