VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Residents in Virginia Beach can weigh in on updated proposed changes to the city’s noise ordinance.

In September, city residents had the opportunity to submit recommended edits to proposed changes in the ordinance.

Councilmen John Moss and Guy Tower, along with city staff, reviewed the edits and comments the city received and prepared a reconciled proposed ordinance and spreadsheet outlining the recommended changes, specific concerns and/or questions raised.

Residents can provide feedback by:

  • Visiting publicinput.com/noiseordinance and open the PDF versions of the proposed ordinance and spreadsheet and provide comments in the comment box.
  • For those who do not have access to a computer or are otherwise unable to complete the survey online, calling Nancy Bloom at 757-385-6279 and requesting that paper copies be mailed to you.

The survey will remain open until midnight Nov. 13, 2022.  The current noise ordinance can be found here.

Additionally, there will be two public listening sessions from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and 6:30 until 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16 at the Princess Anne High School Auditorium, 4400 Virginia Beach Blvd.

City Attorney Mark Stiles will have a presentation regarding the comments and requested changes received.

The proposed changes to the noise ordinance, according to the city, would streamline enforcement with reduced reliance on specialized sound meter equipment, and would establish a hybrid penalty structure, imposing civil penalties for some violations while preserving criminal penalties for repeat or severe violations.  

There would also be an added “plainly audible” standard, in which certain sounds plainly audible inside someone’s home, or beyond a specified distance from its source, would result in violations. The city said sound is plainly audible if a human ear can hear it with or without a medically-approved hearing aid or device.

Violations of the plainly audible standard would be result in a civil violation, punishable by a $250 fine for a first offense.

The city said excessive noise, as determined by decibel readings, will continue to be violations under the proposed ordinance and could result in misdemeanor charges.