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Macon planning board drafts noise ordinance

Macon County Planning Board members are still hashing out the details of a proposed noise ordinance. 

The board held two meetings in January to figure out what language could be used to help address complaints about nuisance neighbors intentionally making noise to bother others without hindering property owners’ right to do what they wish on their land.

Members spent a majority of their time at the meetings arguing over the terminology to use in the ordinance.   

Macon County Commissioner Gary Shields, who serves on the planning board, told members he had received several calls from residents anxious to get a noise ordinance passed. 

“It might make you mad, but I don’t know if you want me to ask commissioners for a timeline for us (to present the ordinance),” he asked the other members. “Sometimes if you have a timeline you can get things done quicker.”

Resident Donna Majerus told the board she has been coming to the board meetings since September in hopes of seeing an ordinance passed — maybe then she can get some sleep. She said her neighbor continues to make noise at all hours of the night and there is nothing she can do about it. 

“I beg you to move along as soon as possible because of the situation were in,” she said. 

Planning Board Chairman Chris D. Hanners said in the board’s defense that the county only directed them to draft an ordinance in December.

“If we do it too fast, it’s not going to work for you and (Sheriff) Robbie Holland won’t have anything to enforce,” he said.

At the Jan. 27 meeting, Planning Director Matt Mason presented a draft ordinance for the board to go over. The draft ordinance isn’t even called a noise ordinance — it’s titled “Macon County Nuisance Ordinance,” with the purpose of “prohibiting nuisances which result from loud, unnecessary and disturbing noise.”

The draft language prohibits nuisance noise that can be heard from any occupied residence between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. 

Exemptions would include legal operations from any business, nonprofit organization or governmental facility or function; noise resulting from agricultural operations, noise from emergency vehicles; noise from firearms being used lawfully and responsibly and lawful fireworks on holidays. 

The proposed penalty for violating the ordinance is a fine up to $500 for a class 3 misdemeanor.

 

 

Learn more

The planning board will meet again to discuss the noise ordinance at 4 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Environmental Resource Center in Franklin, which is now the board’s permanent meeting location for 2015.

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