BLADEN COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – During their Aug. 1 meeting, the Bladen County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a new noise ordinance. The new policy replaces the previous 1997 ordinance and includes both criminal and civil penalties for those found in violation. The new noise ordinance will be enforced by the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office and its deputies.
According to the new policy, “noise disturbance” involves any sound that:
- Endangers the safety or health of any person
- Disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities
- Endangers personal or real property
Concerning noise disturbance, the new policy states that “…the creation of any unreasonably loud or disturbing noise in the County of Bladen is prohibited.” Among the acts considered to be “unreasonably loud or disturbing” are:
- The use of any loud, boisterous or raucous language or shouting as to annoy or disturb quiet, comfort or repose of any person in the vicinity
- The sounding of any horn or signal device on any motor vehicle while not in motion, except as a danger signal if another motor vehicle is approaching apparently out of control, or if in motion only as a danger signal; the creation by means of any such signal device of any unreasonably loud or harsh sound; and the sounding of such device for any unnecessary and unreasonable period of time
- The playing of any radio, phonograph, electronic amplified sound devices, television set or other machine or device for the producing or reproduction of sound, or musical instrument, in such manner or with such volume, as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of any individual in any dwelling, hotel, retirement or nursing home, hospital or other type of residence
- The using or operating of any loudspeaker or sound amplifying device mounted upon any vehicle for the purpose of broadcasting or advertising any information about any business or activity for any other purpose
- The repairing, rebuilding, or testing of any motor vehicle between the hours of 10:00 P.M. and 7:00 A.M. within any residential area in such a manner as to disturb the peace, quiet, and comfort of the residents of the area
- The keeping of any animal or bird which, by such causing frequent and long continued noise, shall disturb the comfort and repose of any person in the vicinity
- The creating of any excessive noise on any street adjacent to any school, institution of learning, or church, while the same are in use, or adjacent to any hospital, nursing or retirement home, which unreasonably interferes with the workings of such institution, or which disturbs or unduly annoys patients or occupants in such institutions, provided conspicuous signs are displayed in such streets indicating that the same is a school, institution of learning, church, hospital, nursing or retirement home street
Included in the new guidelines is a chart that describes the maximum permissible sound levels, in decibels, broken down by multi-dwelling unit building, residential, commercial and industrial categories. In regards to the multi-unit and residential categories, different levels are allowed from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Concerning criminal charges, those found violating the new ordinance will be charged with a misdemeanor and may receive a fine up to $400, per the release.
For civil charges, the new ordinance states that first-time violations are punishable by a $100 fine, second violations with a $200 fine and any subsequent violations will receive a $400 fine.
For more information about this ordinance, residents are encouraged to visit Bladen County’s website.
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