FAIRFIELD COUNTY — Fairfield County Council is working to change an ordinance dealing with noise and the ability of law enforcement to address related complaints.
On Sept. 28, council held the first reading of Ordinance No. 655 which would replace Ordinance 520. The changes were requested by Sheriff Will Montgomery because the current language in the ordinance is vague and does not allow for much in the way of penalties for violators.
The current ordinance prohibits “unreasonably loud, disturbing or unnecessary noise” but has no definition for unreasonable or unnecessary.
Montgomery’s request was for decibel levels to be added which would outline what would be considered excessive.
Council discussed concerns over mobile sources of noise and “standard noise parameters.” Under the proposed ordinance, maximum sound levels are defined in decibels for both residential and non-residential areas.
One concern council voiced was mobile sources of noise. While vehicles are a concern, they are not the focus of the ordinance.
The ordinance is generally aimed at being able to pursue charges when necessary following complaints when violators are non-compliant with requests to turn down music or keep noise at reasonable levels during gatherings and parties.
Another concern raised dealt with noise created by firearms. The proposed ordinance has an exemption for any legal operation of firearms, but does not specifically mention target practice outside of shooting clubs or range businesses.
Sheriff Montgomery said “you have the right to target practice as long as you’re being safe, you’re not drinking alcohol.”
Reach James Inabinet at 803-635-4016.