Draft Noise Ordinance Ready for County Board Review

Last year the County invited residents, business owners, contractors, community leaders and other stakeholders to weigh in on proposed recommendations to update Arlington County’s Noise Ordinance. The latest draft includes the best enforceable standards for Arlington, including streamlined and clarified language, definitions, and noise disturbance measurements.

The draft Noise Ordinance was presented for County Board review on March 18, 2014 and the Request to Advertise was deferred until April 22, 2014, with a public hearing to consider adoption in spring 2014.  The Noise Ordinance was item 28 on the County Board agenda for its March 18 meeting.

Some of the proposed changes include:

  • New methods to determine a noise violation that is above grade, including motor vehicle noise and sound reading collections at high-rise locations and multi-unit buildings. Clarity on allowed noise exemptions during emergencies, including the use of generators, repairs and public utility work.

  • Enhanced prohibited acts to address issues such as loud music, nighttime gatherings in residential districts, idling commercial vehicles, the use of lawn and garden maintenance equipment and animal noises.

  • Stronger construction requirements to have developers and owners determine and provide industry standard sound mitigation solutions at work sites.

  • Civil penalties on violators after a warning is issued or posted on the premises.

  • Criminal penalties for violations would increase from $25 to not less than $100 or more than $2,500 upon conviction.

  • Civil appeal processes: Introduces process for appeal and establishes, as a protection to the community during the period of appeal, a civil citation remains in full force and effect pending the final outcome of the appeal.

Learn more with these frequently asked questions, and see details about the changes in the County Board report.

Watch this Understanding Noise video from Arlington TV to learn more about the Arlington County Noise Ordinance:

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