District council holds hearing on possible noise ordinance | National news


ELKTON – The County Council debated the possibility of a new statewide noise ordinance on Tuesday.

Some residents at the meeting expressed their support for noise regulations, but felt that the wording of the bill should be changed as outdoor music events and other commercial properties are not included in the bill.

“If a commercial property is connected to a residential area, there should be a regime that protects the homeowner,” said Ron McNeil of Elkton.

Elkton’s Russell Johnson also said there should be an appeal process in the event of a fine.

“Even the pushy, nasty IRS has an appeal process,” Johnson said.

Johnson also believed the bill would not make the best use of police resources.

“I want our police to protect us and pursue the bad guys,” said Johnson. “Don’t run after my neighbor who is using his reciprocating saw.”

Chesapeake City resident Cindy Hurt said the bill was inconsistent with state law that night hours start at 10 p.m. Hurt said the language should be simple and specifically target live music.

“It has become a real quality of life issue for the residents who live near these restaurants that have live music,” said Hurt.

Public utilities, authorities, fire brigades and ambulances, agricultural equipment and commercial industrial plants are excluded from the regulation. There were two amendments to the bill. The original bill included a restriction on daytime noise, but there is currently a change so that the bill would only apply to the nighttime hours of 11:00 PM to 6:00 AM for homeowners and real estate agents to do necessary work.

A second change reduces the regulation fines to $ 50 for the first, $ 100 for the second, and $ 300 for the third. The current calculation is not based on a decibel meter, instead fines are levied if noise from residential areas 15 meters away can be heard on the offending property.

Meffley said most commercial real estate is in communities and, as such, is not county controlled.

“I don’t want to limit companies and their options,” said Meffley.

Meffley said the bill was created in response to Cecil County’s residents who raised their concerns about noise.

The bill is due to be examined on October 5th.


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