Thursday, Apr 24, 2014

City may make noise ordinance less strict


BROOKSVILLE - Two weeks after city council members passed a noise ordinance aimed at controlling loud car stereos, at least one official thinks the rule warrants a second look.

The ordinance, passed on Oct. 21, prohibits car radios, music and unnecessary noise that is "louder than necessary" and heard 25 feet away from the vehicle.

"I was so gung-ho about getting an ordinance passed," said Councilman Frankie Burnett. "And I had an experience this weekend. I was listening to my gospel and I cut it up a little bit and I stepped off 25 feet and you could still hear it."

Burnett said his music "wasn't that loud," but still audible. Burnett said "25 feet ... is not enough," and suggested council re-visit the distance outlined in the ordinance.

Vice Mayor Kevin Hohn said he had no problem discussing the issue again. Mayor Lara Bradburn suggested Brooksville police Chief George Turner set up a demonstration for the council, which was later scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in the City Hall parking lot.

Councilman Joe Johnston, who voted against the ordinance, previously said an ordinance was needed but he thought 25 feet was too stringent.

Although recently passed, the ordinance contains the same guidelines as the previous noise ordinance, which police stopped enforcing in 2012 due to a constitutional challenge being heard by the Florida Supreme Court.

Turner said on Thursday his department has written nine noise violation tickets since Oct. 26. Officers gave warnings instead of tickets for the first five days of the ordinance.

First violations cost $250, with the second costing $500 and the third $750. If the first ticket is not paid, the police department can impound the offender's vehicle.

Turner previously told City Council they've never given out a $750 ticket.

Also Monday:

? Council unanimously approved $2,200.80 worth of fee waivers for the 39th annual Kiwanis Christmas Parade. The council, however, had already exhausted funds set aside for fee waivers in the 2013-2014 fiscal year. City Manager Jennene Norman-Vacha said $715 would be transferred from reserve funds to cover the waivers.

? Council voted 4-1 to add e-cigarettes to the list of prohibited tobacco products on city properties and in city vehicles.

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