City to Investigate Possibility of
Noise Ordinance Amendment
The Decatur City Council on Monday called on city staff to look into ways that the city’s noise ordinance might be amended as related to punishment for violators as part of a study session on the issue Monday night.
For the last several months council members have engaged in a public discussion with community members about the ordinance, which prohibits the operation of a sound amplification system that can be heard outside the vehicle from 75 or more feet. Both the driver and owner of a vehicle found to be in violation of the ordinance currently face fines of $250 each and have their vehicle impounded upon citation for the offense.
Over the last several months, a number of residents have attended meetings and contacted both city staff and council members to request a review of the ordinance. While most agreed that an ordinance governing loud music was warranted and that it has been effective in reducing noise in the community, a number of individuals had requested that the towing requirement be eliminated, suggesting that the hardship created by towing did not fit the crime.
Council members on Monday directed city staff to investigate a number of options for graduated fines or punishment for violators up to and including the possibility that vehicles would not be towed for a first offense or second offense. Staff will also investigate whether it would be possible for officers to check the number of offenses from squad cars.