No Noise

By: Amy Gleason
By: Amy Gleason

It's back to school. And high season for parties.

"It tends to be worse when the school year comes on," Kevin Williams Forbes Development. "But as the school year wears on they seem to come down a little bit."

Forbes Development houses about 10-percent of JMU's off campus students. And curbing the noise is a challenge.

"We have security guards that patrol the area and try to stop things before they happen," added Williams.

The city is trying to toughen up its noise laws. It's suggesting making a noise violation a class three misdemeanor. That could run a student a fine of $1,000 and the committee is recommending 50-hours community service. If there is a second violation, it could be a class one misdemeanor with a fine of up to $2,500 and 100-hours of community service.

"It goes to the courts and we were told at the committee that our conviction rate is more than 90-percent on those cases," said Dorn Peterson, Harrisonburg City Council.

The city wanted to have landlords put a clause in their leases that stated if a tenant received three summons, they would be evicted. If they didn't evict, the landlord would pay $1000.

"If they have that in their lease, and actually enforce it then the city would say no we won't ever charge you the $1000," said Peterson.

The landlords say despite the contract, that's one penalty that won't work.

"We can go the ultimate route and try to evict, but typically in the past, we haven't been able to do that," said Williams.

The city is also trying to toughen its laws on junk. It could make it so indoor furniture can't be on front porches.


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