Sebastian council to discuss noise ordinance Wednesday

Staff ReportSEBASTIAN — Members of the Sebastian City Council are expected to take up the issue of too much noise at their meeting Wednesday. The issue came up after residents of the county complained to the council about noise traveling over the lagoon from Sebastian businesses.City Attorney Robert Ginsburg presented a draft of the new noise ordinance to the Sebastian City Council at their meeting earlier this month. The council was then tasked with reviewing the ordinance and presenting their opinions on the matter at the Aug. 26 council meeting. Sebastian once had a lengthy and detailed noise ordinance that had been tied to the city’s land development code. When the city revised the land development code, it transferred the noise ordinance to code enforcement and reduced in scope, according to city records.The newly proposed noise ordinance is four pages in length and does not include an extensive decibel ratings list. Instead, noises that exceed the ambient noise level by more than five decibels would be considered in violation of the ordinance.Such noises could include lawn equipment after a certain time of night, outdoor entertainment, house parties and vehicle radios.After the council discusses the ordinance, the city will schedule a second hearing during which residents and business owners can comment on.If approved, the ordinance would make it “unlawful for any person to make, continue or cause to be made or continued any unreasonably loud, excessive, unnecessary or unusual noise” and the threshold would be five decibels above the ambient noise, as measured from the property line.Animals causing “frequent, habitual or continued noise” would be covered and so would radios, televisions, musical instruments and amplifiers during the hours of 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.The first offense would be a warning and if the noisemaker does not correct the problem in five minutes or commits the same noise offence twice in 60 days, the law enforcement officer may issue a $50 find for the first citation, a $250 fine for the second citation and a $500 fine for a third and subsequent citations.Noises caused by official government business such as emergency vehicles or night road crews would be exempt and residents requiring emergency work on their property would be exempt.

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