Council Votes Yes to Institute a Noise Ordinance

HARRISONBURG,Va. (WHSV)-- The city attorney says, in Harrisonburg, calls for noise complaints come from all over the city.

But a majority of them come from areas with student housing. Now the city hopes this new ordinance. Will hold people more accountable for their actions.

"It is so loud that you can't go to sleep because all you hear is the boom... boom... boom," said Jonathon Garcia, who lives in Harrisonburg.

Garcia lives beside a fraternity house, which he says throws loud parties several times a week. He says sometimes it's so loud it wakes him up at night.

And he's not the only one. Kimberly Maya says her family has found other ways to drown out the sound at night.

"My mom has to put earplugs in so she can sleep at night. If she doesn't have enough sleep it ruins her health," said Maya.

The city wants to take steps to make the area a quieter place to live.
Chris Brown, the city attorney, says the new ordinance won't require police to use a noise meter in order to hand out a citation.

"Police officers will not have to rely on the noise meters which are very ineffective. They tend to not pick up low base noises you tend to hear at big parties," said Brown.

In fact, in 2013, HPD answered more than 12 hundred noise violations. But, were only able to hand out ten citations.

The new change will allow police to determine if the noise is too loud, if they can hear it while standing a certain distance away.

"Just keep the volume to a decent level, and everyone will understand and there will be no problem," said Jonathon Garcia, who lives in Harrisonburg.

This makes community members like Garcia and Maya happy. This change will hold people accountable for their actions. But, the noise violation isn't just for parties. It can also put loud animals, car stereos,
or noise coming from lawn care equipment, happening during the evening hours, up for violations.


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