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Request to change noise ordinance is turned down

September 12, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - Written warnings will not be automatic for first offenders of Chambersburg's noise ordinance after the Borough Council this week unanimously rejected the suggestion from a woman whose son was issued a citation while visiting from Florida.

In July, Rosanna Waters Johnson asked the borough to consider a written warning for first offenders, telling the council her son received one of the $50 citations for playing his car stereo too loud at a carwash. The minutes of the July 23 meeting indicated the police department issued seven noise ordinance violations as of that time.

At that July meeting, council members also spoke of calls they received from residents about the noise from a recent all-night prayer vigil at Chambersburg Area Senior High School's Trojan Stadium, to which police did not respond until 1:30 a.m.

"I appreciate that the enforcement of the noise ordinance is being done ... I guess I don't understand not having a warning," Johnson told the council Monday.

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"I don't really feel there is any need to change the ordinance," Council President William McLaughlin said. "If someone lacks the initiative to turn down the volume on their car stereo," an officer has the discretion to issue a warning, a ticket or a citation, he said.

The most frequent complaint from residents about the ordinance is that it is not being more vigorously enforced, Councilman Glenn Manns said.

Although her son lives outside the area, Councilwoman Sharon Bigler told Johnson he picked the wrong place and time to have the volume turned up on his stereo. The department has received frequent complaints about noise at the carwash, she said, and the police chief was nearby filling up at a gas station.

"That particular area, we've just had complaint after complaint after complaint," Bigler said.

The council voted unanimously not to amend the ordinance.

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