FAULKNER COUNTY, Ark. — There might not be any “cranking it up to 11” in Faulkner County soon. If a proposed noise ordinance is passed.
Mowing your lawn or using a leaf blower could leave you with a fine.
Tuesday night, the courts and public safety committee for the county is meeting to discuss it.
“I think people want to enjoy their freedoms. I don’t think they want more restrictions on them,” said Kris Kendrick the Faulkner County Justice of the Peace, District 9.
The Faulkner County Courts and Public Safety Committee will be discussing a proposed noise ordinance in their Tuesday night meeting.
“Implement a noise level for the daytime and the nighttime and they are different from that if people exceed those levels they could be fined by the county,” said Kendrick.
The proposed ordinance says between the times of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. the noise level should not exceed 65 decibels and from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. no more than 75 decibels.
For comparison, the CDC released an article showing how loud everyday sounds are. For example, a washing machine is 70 decibels. Gas-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers are 85, both of those are higher than the daytime limit.
“The way it’s currently written, I couldn’t support this bill, I don’t like it. I do think it infringes on people’s rights on how they use their property,” said Kendrick.
Kendrick says hundreds of people have spoken up against this ordinance and Tyler Lachowsky another Justice of the Peace says his phone has been ringing off the hook.
“I’ve been getting at least one call, Facebook message, text message at least every 15 minutes today. It’s been constant today, please vote no, please vote no, please vote no, please vote no,” said Lachowsky.
To enforce it, the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office would be equipped with a decibel meter. Kendrick says he believes this would have to be purchased. How much that would cost is undetermined.
It would also be up to the County Sheriff’s Office to conduct on-site investigations and take sound measurements.
“For me it’s a no vote right now,” said Lachowsky.
Kendrick said if there were changes made to the ordinance that made it less restrictive on people’s daily lives, he might consider it.
According to the proposed ordinance, fines range between $100 to $250 for a first offense and $250 to $500 for the second offense.
The Courts and Public Safety Committee will meet Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m.
Whether it’s passed or not, the discussion could end up at the Faulkner County Quorum Court.
Full proposed ordinance can be found below: