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Wilmington, N.C., Gets Noise Ordinance Proposal

Wilmington, N.C., Gets Noise Ordinance Proposal

Zzubnik [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (CelebrityAccess) The City of Wilmington in North Carolina has attempted to clarify and streamline its noise ordinance.

The city is home to venues like Greenfield Lake and the planned Live Nation venue at the Northern Waterfront Park. Proposed rules would not require officers to use a decibel meter or even witne3ss the noise firsthand before issuing citations, according to the Port City Daily. The key provisions are for Hugh Morton Amphitheater at Greenfield Lake, Legion Stadium, and the Live Nation venue.

The new ordinance also lays out an appeal process. The city did not have one, which cost it $30,000 in settlement when a resident sued the city claiming the lack of appeal was unconstitutional, according to WECT.

The new ordinance would allow louder “daytime” noises earlier, starting at 6 a.m.

The revised draft no longer requires permits for all outdoor events with amplified sound but only for those where noise levels will exceed maximum levels.

“A noise permit shall be obtained in advance for any activity where the sound level to be produced exceeds or should be reasonably expected to exceed the sound level limits or time limits set out in this Article on any other property,” according to the draft ordinance.

The city will consider the following criteria for approving or denying a permit application:

  1. The use and activities permitted by the zoning regulations in such areas;
  2. The intensity of sound levels regularly produced by activities and devices in such areas;
  3. The time at which the sound amplification will occur;
  4. The duration of the requested amplification;
  5. The proximity of the requested activity to commercial buildings and residential dwellings, and the density of the surrounding commercial and residential areas;
  6. The history of verified complaints generated by previous activities similar in nature and context;
  7. The history of noise complaints against the applicant from adjoining or neighboring properties;
  8. Whether the sounds produced by such devices and activities are plainly audible, recurrent, intermittent, impulsive, or constant;
  9. Failure to complete the application properly;
  10. The necessity of the requested amplification.

The new regulations lay out criteria for officers to evaluate potential violations:

  1. The volume of the noise;
  2. The intensity of the noise;
  3. Whether the nature of the noise is usual or unusual;
  4. Whether the origin of the noise is natural or unnatural;
  5. The volume and intensity of the background noise, if any;
  6. The proximity of the noise to residential sleeping facilities;
  7. The nature and zoning of the area from which the noise emanates;
  8. The density of the inhabitation of the area from which the noise emanates;
  9. The time of the day or night the noise occurs;
  10. The duration of the noise;
  11. Statements of any complaining witnesses, including any pictures or audio/video documentation produced by complaining witnesses; and,
  12. Whether the noise is recurrent, impulsive, intermittent, or constant.

More information is available here.

Wilmington Draft Noise Ordi… by on Scribd

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