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Noise issue still under review

Localities around Virginia are working to revise noise ordinances in the wake of the decision by the Supreme Court of Virginia that a Virginia Beach noise ordinance based on a “reasonable person” standard is unconstitutionally vague.

The Virginia Beach law was used to issue citations for loud band music at the venerable oceanfront nightspot, the Peppermint Beach Club.  The Virginia Supreme Court reversed the club’s convictions.

The Roanoke Times reports Roanoke County Attorney Paul Mahoney has advised police officers not to enforce a similar law in that locality.  At a session with supervisors, Mahoney and the police chief indicated they prefer restrictions on noisy activities over noise laws based on measured sound pressure levels.

In Culpeper County, meanwhile, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports supervisors are sticking with the current noise ordinance in light of an appeal filed by Virginia Beach to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Their lawyer advises no changes until the matter is finally resolved by the courts.

By Peter Vieth

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