“Noise issues are generally solved because people want to be good neighbors to each other. So, we’re really only trying to have an ability to encourage people to come into compliance- to respect their neighbors ability to use and enjoy their property,” said Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner.
To help those neighbors enjoy their property, Frederick County officials are trying to strengthen a noise ordinance that they already have in place.
“So, the sheriff actually initiated this strengthening of the noise ordinance and essentially, what we’re doing is we’re taking it from a criminal offense- misdemeanor offense- to a civil offense,” Gardner said.
Gardner said this comes after several complaints.
Initial fines would be from $50 to $100 and could possibly escalate from $500 to $1,000. She said it will help the sheriff’s deputies more easily enforce the ordinance.
“Sometimes, there’s not that much interest in compliance, so this will allow sheriff deputies to write citations or fines and to do that on an escalating levels,” Gardner said.
The county wide ordinance will include some things that are currently exempt.
“Farm equipment and agricultural activities are exempt. Certainly, emergency vehicles with sirens that make a lot of noise- they are exempt. Construction projects would be exempt and trash trucks during the day would be exempt. So, there’s a lot of exemptions. A normal sporting event would be exempt, but an event that has amplified equipment, that’s electronically amplified would not be exempt,” Gardner said.
Officials said county council will have a public hearing in September and once they decide on a vote, it will go into effect within 60 days.