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Franklin revises noise ordinance

FRANKLIN

A series of loud, late-night parties has prompted Franklin’s City Council to change the wording of its noise ordinance.

On Oct. 26, the council voted unanimously with one absent to prohibit noise “plainly audible” at a distance of 50 feet or more from the property line or vehicle from which it is originating. The previous ordinance had prohibited “unreasonable” noise, a standard courts have ruled unenforceable, according to Sands Anderson attorneys serving as the city’s legal counsel.

The 50-foot standard further applies to animals that “frequently or habitually” howl, bark, meow, squawk or make other noises plainly audible across property lines or through partition walls common to two residential or commercial units; and to yelling, shouting, whistling or singing between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. the following day.

The new ordinance further prohibits the loading and unloading of trucks or the operation of construction equipment between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. the following day within 100 yards of a lawfully occupied residence, with few exceptions.

During the council’s previous meeting on Sept. 28, City Manager Amanda Jarratt said Franklin had received multiple noise complaints over the past few months, namely from late-night parties at 2, 3 and 4 a.m., which drew crowds in excess of 50 individuals.

One month later, the complaints hadn’t let up.

“We had a number of complaints this weekend, specifically,” Jarratt said on Oct. 26.

The revisions repeal sections 19-14 and 19-15 of the City Code. The former had made it a Class 4 misdemeanor for any person to have an electrical or mechanical amplifier or loudspeaker placed or located outside of any premises. The latter had made it a Class 4 misdemeanor to use any radio, loudspeaker or other device on a motor vehicle capable of projecting noise out into the street for advertising purposes.

Noise violations now begin as a class 4 misdemeanor for first violations, but increase to class 3, 2 or 1 misdemeanors for second, third and fourth violations within a 12-month period.