Polk explores solution to Silver Creek community noise issues

Published 5:20 pm Wednesday, August 7, 2013

“When is music too loud?” Gilbert asked. “You’ll get a different perspective from different individuals.”

Gasperson said a lot of people were hoping for an ordinance, saying even if the ordinance is not strict it tends to act as a deterrent.

Gilbert said if the county does just one or two of the breach of peace cases it should make a difference for the Silver Creek community.

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“The fact of the matter is we can do something with this,” Gilbert said. “We’ll issue (a summons) and give you an opportunity to get it into court. To me, $176 is pretty expensive to play music.”

Commissioner Ted Owens said a noise ordinance leaves discretion in the hands of the sheriff’s deputy who might decide not to take action at all. With the summons, Owens said he felt action would certainly take place once three people complained.

Gilbert said with the county’s former noise ordinance, which was adopted a few years ago then rescinded, the planning board battled with how to enforce it with decibels and the costs of equipment to determine decibels.

Gilbert also said in court, citizens are always going to carry more weight than a single officer and if the public is really complaining he thinks residents will get more action with the district attorney’s office.

Gasperson said he’d still like to see an officer from Henderson County come to Polk and explain why they think their ordinance is a better option than the state law.

Owens said if the Silver Creek Community gets enough people to join they could be zoned and the county could take care of the problem that way. Commissioners have said they will zone communities if everyone in a community requests that it be zoned.