Photo credit: Dirk Kirchner licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition, and Honorary Chair, Quiet American Skies

Virginia Beach’s City Council, like other City Councils nationally, is considering a noise ordinance that should make it easier for police officers to issue violations. The City Council plans to move away from the measured decibel level that it believes was set too high and move toward a “plainly audible’ standard which will not require decibel measurements. Civil fines will be issued if the sound levels are indeed audible. Mayor Wilson of Virginia Beach states tells WAVY TV 10 that noise is a top complaint:

To determine whether the new ordinance, if passed, will “lessen the din” in Virginia Beach so that the residents can enjoy the good sounds of the beach, e. g. waves against the shore, the City Council has to put in place methods to assess the ordinance’s success. I would suggest that the City Council look to the number of noise complaints filed monthly for the next six months as well as the number of violations that have been issued. Ordinances to curb noise complaints must be enforced if they are to reduce complaints as well as being set at standards that will indeed reduce the noise.

One hopes the revised noise ordinance lowers the number of noise complaints in Virginia Beach.