Three Ways You Can Provide Input on Proposed Changes to City Noise Ordinance

Virginia Beach City Council is weighing changes to the City’s noise ordinance and would like to know what you think. 

man with ear plugs in face down on a sofaResidents are invited to submit recommended edits to the proposed noise ordinance before the final document is considered by City Council.

Respondents should provide suggested textual changes to the proposed amendments. The survey will be open through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30.

Surve
y participants can provide feedback in one of three ways:

  1. Visit PublicInput.com/noiseordinance and download a Word copy of the proposed ordinance. Make your changes, then follow the instructions on the survey site to upload your suggested changes.
  2. Visit PublicInput.com/noiseordinance and follow the instructions to complete the online survey, indicating the line number and your proposed change to the text.
  3. For those who do not have access to a computer or are otherwise unable to complete the survey online, may call Nancy Bloom at 757-385-6279 and request a mailed paper copy.

After the responses have been collected and analyzed, the City will schedule two facilitated listening sessions to review the submitted changes. Participants who wish to be contacted with updates about this topic, including the dates of the future listening sessions, are encouraged to provide their name and email address in the survey.

About the Pr
oposed Changes

The proposed changes to the noise ordinance would streamline enforcement with reduced reliance on specialized sound meter equipment and establish a hybrid penalty structure by imposing civil penalties for some violations while preserving criminal penalties for repeat or severe violations. 

A key change in the proposed noise ordinance is the addition of a "plainly audible" standard, where certain sounds that are plainly audible inside an individual's home or beyond a specified distance from its source would constitute violations. Sound is plainly audible if it can be heard by the human ear with or without a medically approved hearing aid or device. A violation of the plainly audible standard would result in a civil violation punishable by a fine of $250 for a first offense. Excessive noise as determined by decibel readings will continue to be violations under the proposed ordinance and may result in misdemeanor charges. 

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