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Your Opinion: Sounding off on noise ordinance

Your Opinion: Sounding off on noise ordinance

October 24th, 2012 by Michael H. Brownstein, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

The proposed sound ordinance had its third reading recently. But first it had a public hearing, the last chance to change the council's mind on the issue.

And what is the issue: Daytime will be defined from 7 a.m.-10 p.m., so much for family values. Who cares if your children can't go to sleep at a decent hour? Most of the city will have a new measurable decibel level, 85 dbs for that period of time and only five less for the rest of the time.

What does 85 dbs sound like? Imagine someone decides to cut the grass by your bedroom window. That's an 85. Now imagine them doing it for four hours straight. That will be legal under the new law.

Or, imagine you are on a country drive, the weather is nice, a cool breeze outside your windows rolled down and your radio on your favorite station when a diesel truck passes you. That's an 85 dbs. Now imagine that same truck next to you for two hours and you can't ditch it. The window's now rolled up and you have to give up on listening to your favorite station. That amount of noise will be legal.

Or, you live in the neighborhood of Prison Brews. A car goes by blasting its radio. That's an 85 dbs. Now imagine being forced to listen to the music on the Prison Brews patio for three hours because you live a block or more away from it as the sound waves bounce off walls and turns everything into noise. Under the proposed ordinance that will be legal.

This issue will impact on everyone living in Jeff City. Every commercial (even if there are residents with families living nearby) and industrial zones including the brick factory on McCarty, the fancy restaurants near the bicycle path and the nice houses and all of the lofts and businesses downtown will be impacted because we will be the only town that legalizes what the federal government classifies as endangering our health.

Even New York City does not allow these kinds of decibel measurements.