By Ron Fitzwater
Feb. 23, 2012. Boone, NC — The Boone Town Council voted 3 to 2, to approve amendments to the town’s noise ordinance at their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21. The vote final version of the ordinance was based on information presented to the board at a public hearing, which was held on Jan. 10 and more than six months of discussion.
Directly due to the comments made at the Jan. 10 meeting, the board amended the original ordinance noise levels with a five-decibel increase. The ordinance now requires that measured noise within 10 feet of a business or venue be at a maximum level of 70 decibels up until 11 p.m. and then 60 decibels until sunrise during the workweek and then 70 decibels from 10 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday and 60 decibels from midnight to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Violators will be identified based on where the incident takes place. In both business and residential areas, law enforcement will investigate complaints that are made and also by police observations in residential areas only. The citizenry now has four-months to adjust to the ordinance before fines will be levied. Once the fines set in, violators will receive four written warnings. Beginning with the fifth violation, a $100 fine will be assessed, then $200 for the second and $500 for the third.
Residents who attended the Jan. 10 meeting had advocated for higher decibel levels but ultimately to no avail. Only time will tell if the concerns of Mark Dixon of Galileo’s and Boone Saloon’s Skip Sinanian that the restricted decibel levels would hurt the downtown music scene.