A Court of Appeals panel has overturned Warren County’s barking dog law as unconstitutional, but one judge argues for a more lenient approach to local noise ordinances.
The Warren County noise ordinance was overly vague under the standard established in a 2009 Supreme Court of Virginia opinion overturning a Virginia Beach noise law, the three-judge panel found in Souter v. County of Warren, an unpublished opinion released Tuesday.
The two-part ordinance prohibited “unreasonably loud or disturbing sound,” words the court found were too subjective to be enforceable under the Virginia Beach decision.
Judge Rossie Alston wrote a concurring opinion suggesting the two parts of the noise law should be read together to meet constitutional muster, but agreed the Virginia Beach case mandated a stricter interpretation.
By Peter Vieth