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“Lower the volume!” PTC Council approves noise ordinance

PEACHTREE CITY — The Peachtree City Council met for a special called work session on April 7 to discuss many additional agenda items. One of the most significant topics was the proposed noise ordinance. 

The drafted ordinance was first discussed in the March 17 public council meeting and was met with pushback regarding time of day restrictions and the appropriate decibel (db) strength for daily life and families in residential areas and public places. 

On April 7, an updated draft of the noise ordinance was presented to the council with significant changes. The changes include the specification between daytime and nighttime and the prohibited noises that would not be allowed. 

According to the new draft, each decibel maximum was increased by five decibels. This means that for single-family and public park areas, the maximum sound limit would be 65 dbs in the daytime rather than 60 dbs in the nighttime. 

Daytime was specified as 7 a.m. to  9 a.m during the workweek, whereas it was previously 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. in the initial draft. During the weekend, daytime was specified as 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday as well as on national holidays. 

The ordinance will address stationary noise sources. These sources include excessive barking dogs, parked cars/carts blasting music and party houses. 

The ordinance would, in turn, provide limited improvement to moving sources. This would make it challenging to locate the perpetrator of the loud noise after a complaint was made. 

Individuals who exceed the maximum db limit by 10 percent for more than 10 minutes are in violation, the ordinance states.

During the special work session, Council Member Phil Prebor questioned the restrictions of the sound allowance, calling into question what the ordinance could restrict. His main question was tied to the restriction that the sound cannot exceed the maximum of +15 dbs. 

“I think we need to strike that restriction,” Prebor said, “because how are we going to be able to truly enforce that unless we are waiting on our neighbor to come home?” 

Prebor was not the only council member with reservations about the updated draft. Council Member Frank Destadio grew concerned about the implication that the revised draft steers away from the initial problem that it was intended to solve, which was loud music on the golf cart paths. 

After taking a break  between the special work session and the city council meeting, the council motioned to approve the noise ordinance with the striking of the +15 dBs restriction. 

“I think that you have done a great job with this ordinance,” Destadio said, “And with this one change, I think that it would be great.” 

Peachtree City Mayor Kim Learnard closed by saying that she believes that every change is more achievable and that she thinks that the ordinance will help many people in the community. 

By Leah Banks

Leah Banks is a reporter for Fayette News. She graduated from Loyola University - New Orleans with a degree in Journalism in May 2019. As a reporter, she covers mainly Peachtree City and Tyrone areas. Leah has an interest in community outreach as well as local initiatives. In her free time, she enjoys reading mystery novels and listening to jazz music. Leah can be reached at leah@fayette-news.net.