No Noise at City Hall

Feb 8, 2012

Three years in the making, major changes in Lexington’s ‘noise ordinance’ fell by the wayside Tuesday at city hall.  A noise task force developed a comprehensive package to cover a variety of sounds.  For instance, it included language to establish a distance limit on sounds emitting from a car stereo.  Much of the debate Tuesday before the Public Safety committee centered on the business community impact.  Lexington attorney Bill Lear represented those interests.  “Well there were some parts of it that were really of concerns to businesses that operate 24 hours a day,” said Lear.

Urban County Council member Doug Martin also worried about the potential impact on local industries.

“We heard Smuckers come and tell us that if the recommendation of the task force had passed that they would cease expansion plans and would look to re-locating in future years,” said Martin.

An amendment to exempt business zones from the new noise ordinance failed.   Another to remove a provision for a ‘noise board’ to hear complaints was approved.  That was something which troubled supporters, so when the vote was taken it failed by a nine to one vote.  Lexington Vice Mayor Linda Gorton, who served on the task force but not the public safety committe, was disappointed in the outcome.

“The current 1974 version stands unless someone bring something else before council,” added Gorton.

Council member Chris Ford cast the lone yes vote on the noise document.  He says residents need to let their voices be heard.

 “And I encourage residents if they have some concerns to come and voice it that’s why we’re down here for at council…we need to hear just how important this noise ordinance can be all across the city,” said Ford.

Ford hopes the issue can be re-visited later this year.