Sound ordinance revisited
Fredericksburg City Council heard about a dozen people regarding the first reading of the proposed sound ordinance during Monday night’s city council meeting.
Speakers with strong opinions were divided on whether the ordinance was too harsh or the city is going in the right direction.
“We’ve had really good support from businesses downtown that have live music,” Police Chief Steve Wetz said. “We spent a lot of time watching the music and the decibel levels. So we looked at the ordinance to try and make it fit how we’re living in Fredericksburg.”
The first change, Wetz said, is that they have added ordinances for residential areas, or commercial areas that border residential properties.
After 10 p.m., those businesses that border residential areas should have their sound levels at the lower, residential levels when their sound spills over into the residential area.
“That was to help cover those living in residential areas that want a quieter residential area,” Wetz said. “Also, at commercial areas that border residential zones, we feel like by the time the sound gets into the residential area that it is manageable.”
The nighttime decibel (dB) level went up from 60 to 65.
“We felt like 60 was too low,” Wetz said. “Later in the evenings, the ambient noise changes, so we wanted the ambient noise to match the sound ordinance.”
The person who receives the violation of the sound ordinance was also revised.
“The real person is going to be the person in charge of the establishment for the night,” Wetz said. “If it’s a household, it’s whoever is responsible for the household. Same goes for music venues: whoever is in charge at the time the sound levels are broken is responsible.”
The distance the sound will be measured went from 75 feet from the property line of the venue to 50 feet.
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