Gloucester adopts modified noise ordinance

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Feb 02, 2011 - 03:41 PM

Gloucester County has a modified noise ordinance. The Gloucester County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously at its regular meeting in the colonial courthouse Tuesday night to repeal a section of the current code and added a new chapter, "noise control."

In summary, the ordinance will regulate noise in the county based primarily on audibility across property lines, while limiting specified activities that typically generate noise to 10 p.m.-7 a.m.

County Attorney Ted Wilmot said the ordinance had to be changed after the Virginia Supreme Court declared the City of Virginia Beach’s noise ordinance unconstitutional. Gloucester had a very similar ordinance. 

The ordinance addresses a wide variety of "prohibited noises" during the nighttime hours ranging from radios or televisions to vehicles to yelling to animal noise to construction.

Exceptions to the rule include items ranging from public assembly activities located on public rights-of-way to the operation of farm and marine equipment to the lawful discharge of firearms.

The vote followed a public hearing where three people spoke about noise ordinances in general.