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Noise ordinance now in draft form

July 23, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

If the borough solicitor gets it written on time, the Waynesboro Borough Council could begin the legal advertising in August for an ordinance aimed at shushing motorists with blaring, booming car radios.

Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger has written a draft ordinance modeled after one on the books in Harrisburg that he said has been effective.

Council members, Police Chief Ray Shultz, Borough Solicitor Lloyd Reichard and a handful of citizens got a look at the draft this week at a joint meeting of the council's personnel, property and public safety, and downtown revitalization and finance committees.

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According to the draft, "noise produced by the following acts is declared to be loud, disturbing and unnecessary ... ."

The new law would cover amplified music from radios, CD players, televisions and musical instruments that produce sound in such a manner as to disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of residents "with louder volume than is necessary in the room, vehicle or chamber..."

The ordinance sets 50 feet as the limit such noise could be heard.

Exemptions include athletic events, concerts, block parties and licensed carnivals. School, public activities, church music and bells are exempt.

Conviction can mean fines between $100 and $300 plus court costs. Failure to pay fines can result in a 10-day jail sentence.

If a court rules that any section of the ordinance is illegal, the rest of the law would still stand.

Shultz said if the borough adopts the ordinance, borough police officers will enforce it.

Hamberger has said if the noise ordinance succeeds, the borough would next consider some kind of control over vehicles with loud mufflers. The borough would have to adopt an ordinance based on the state code. It could involve equipment like certified decibel meters.

Hamberger wants the noise ordinance ready for a council vote at its Aug. 17 meeting.

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