Police chief drafts noise ordinance

City officials want more control of permits

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— As it stands, the city has little control over whether to issue noise permits for loud events, Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta said.

The current ordinance states the city shall issue a noise permit - a permit for "sound-amplifying equipment" - unless the equipment would interfere with traffic safety.

Other requirements, such as shutting the equipment down at certain times, such as midnight Fridays and Saturdays, or limiting the decibel output apply after a permit is issued.

As a whole, the current ordinance doesn't provide officials with much room to deny a permit, the chief said, which means any potential problems regarding noise have to be addressed after the fact.

"There were no provisions, other than public safety, for us to say, 'No, we're not going to issue this permit,'" Vanatta said.

In response, he created a new draft ordinance for the Craig City Council to discuss at a public workshop before its Aug. 25 meeting.

The draft included provisions that allow law enforcement to consider various factors before issuing a noise violation ticket and limits noises to certain decibels during morning and evening hours.

Perhaps the biggest change, though, is allowing city officials to approve or deny noise permits, termed variances, for different reasons.

Among the issues officials will consider are whether an applicant has notified his or her neighbors and what "social or economic value" the proposed event would have.

Vanatta said the draft ordinance is far from complete, however.

The ordinance has yet to be formally introduced to the council, and after that the council would have to approve first and second readings at separate meetings before it becomes official.

The police chief said the city's approval process puts a final decision about a month away at the earliest.

Officials also will consider other changes before an ordinance is passed, such as whether the city should use decibel limits in its regulations, he said.

During the workshop last week, local resident Colette Erikson, who also is an attorney for the city of Steamboat Springs, said in her experience that proving decibel levels is difficult in court.

Not all equipment is reliable, and lawyers must prove whoever measured the decibel output is qualified, she said.

Vanatta said he hasn't been able to reach Erikson since the workshop, but he plans to talk to her and report back to city officials.

City Clerk Shirley Seely said officials don't plan to introduce a new noise ordinance as soon as the Tuesday council meeting next week, but that could change.

Comments

David Moore 4 years, 11 months ago

How about including the vehicles that roam our town that have the music up so loud I can hear it indoors with my TV up and the kid yelling? The bass so strong it rattles windows? We don't have any concerts or events that would warrant an ordinance like this but we DO have the inconsiderate people who drive up and down the streets at 0400 with the mariachi alarm clock. I'd rather see an ordinance against that.

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xrsareus 4 years, 11 months ago

Include the straight piped Harley's and Harley want to be's. All the diesel pickups around with loud exhaust. Can't hardly enjoy and evening out side anymore.

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als362 4 years, 11 months ago

I agree that the loud radios need to be added to this law

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als362 4 years, 11 months ago

I emailed a City Council member, that wrote back saying that the loud music will be included in the ordinance.

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DAILYREADER 4 years, 11 months ago

AS I HAVE SAID BEFORE, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE. IF PAST PERFORMANCE IS ANY INDICATION, THEY WILL NEVER ENFORCE THE ORDINANCE REGARDLESS OF WHAT IT COVERS.

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