VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Smooth jazz flows up and down the Oceanfront from city speakers,mixing with the occasional passing car. After a busy summer, theresort city has quieted down, leaving everyone a chance to lookback.
"The noise has been terrific during the summer months," lamentedJane Crosswhite, whose home near the beach gets bombarded by barnoise.
"There's nowhere for sound to travel, so if there's nowhere forsound to travel, it's in your apartment," said Crosswhite. "So it'stough."
Virginia Beach put in new noise laws at the start of the busyseason, after the courts struck down older laws, calling them toovague and hard to enforce. Now, the city is ready to revamp thelaws.
"It was passed as a stopgap in light of the absence of anordinance heading into the summer months, and we want to take asecond look at it coming into the fall and ask how can we improveit," said Deputy City Attorney Chris Boynton.
At a public meeting Thursday afternoon, the city explained thenew laws and asked for any feedback.
"It's hard to sit on the balcony during the summer," saidShirley Darnaeur. She said motorcycles keep her up any night it'snice out. "You have to stop talking until they get halfwayacross."
Beach police showed off new noise meters and demonstrated howthey detect violations of the new laws, which use decibel levelsand distance to figure out if a noise is too loud.
Most of the complaints targeted loud music or loud bars. One barowner who spoke with WAVY.com said bars have to keep the music loudenough to draw customers, but quiet enough not to drawcomplaints.
Virginia Beach will receive four new noise meters within thenext few weeks, each priced at $3,500.
But police said the emphasis is on voluntary compliance. After awarning, they said they'd like to see people comply with the newnoise limits.
For a complete list of the code clickhere.
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