Windsor revisits noise ordinance

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 16, 2007

WINDSOR – The Windsor Police Department now has the backing they need to stop unwanted noise.

Police Chief Rodney Hoggard appeared before the Windsor Board of Commissioners Thursday morning to discuss problems his department was having in enforcing the town’s noise ordinance.

“Over the past several months, there have been complaints about noise,” Hoggard said. “We’ve been ticketing people, not often, but once in a while, but they are being thrown out when they go to court because our ordinance doesn’t meet requirements by the state to be prosecuted.”

Hoggard said the town’s ordinance didn’t have specific measurements in it, thereby making it unenforceable.

Hoggard said he had received a copy of the Town of Ahoskie’s noise ordinance, one that prevented noise from traveling five feet from a motor vehicle and 50 feet from property.

“What we need to do is establish a certain distance,” asked Windsor Commissioner Bob Brown.

Hoggard said that is what needed to be done and suggested the town follow Ahoskie’s ordinance.

Mayor Bob Spivey asked if it could be added to the existing ordinance and was told it could.

Brown made a motion to place a five-foot maximum on noise from a motor vehicle and 10 feet in case of a pedestrian. Commissioner Hoyt Cooper added a second and the motion passed without objection.

Spivey said he was concerned about an additional provision to have noise cut off at 50 feet from an establishment because of Hammerheads, a local oyster bar that periodically stages outdoor events which include music.

The mayor said many people in town had said they enjoyed the music and that he wanted to make sure that was not threatened.

Town Administrator Alan Castelloe said the town could have Town Attorney Braxton Gillam draw up an ordinance that required the 50 feet, but gave exemption power to the town board or their designee.

Spivey said he liked the idea of having Gillam review the ordinance and then have the town board review the full ordinance.

By consent, the board approved the idea.

In other business, the board:

* tabled the adoption of an updated dog ordinance until their May meeting;

* approved the use of the town tennis courts by the Bertie County Recreation Department;

* head from a concerned citizen regarding the prospective dog ordinance; and

* appointed Mayor Pro-Tempore Jimmy Hoggard to lead the July 3 celebration again this year.