Lexington city leaders lend an ear to noise ordinance modifications

WEKU | By Stu Johnson

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Lexington city leaders are considering changes to the current noise ordinance. A City Council committee this week received a presentation on potential modifications to the ordinance.

Noises come in all shapes, sizes, and volumes. The discussion on Tuesday included comments about car stereos, loud mufflers, loud chickens, and barking dogs. Jennifer Reynolds chairs the Social Services and Public Safety Committee, which heard the issue this week.

“And some things are just a loud barbeque and some things are not. I mean these motorcycles in my neighborhood were speeding at 6:00 a.m. and waking everybody up. I just saw a drag race downtown the other day,” said Reynolds.

Data over a year found police investigated more than 37 hundred noise complaints with 33 citations given out. In almost 13 hundred cases, the noise maker was gone on arrival. Assistant Police Chief Brian Maynard said the majority of stops are educational and don’t result in fines. He told Council that oftentimes addresses the noise complaint.

One suggestion involves the police use of decibel reading devices. Maynard said that’s partly a fiscal matter.

“It’s 500 dollars per decibel reader plus you have to have training that goes with it and calibration very similar to our radar gun. Has to be calibrated before and after. We don’t deploy radar guns to every single officer in Fayette County,” said Maynard.

Maynard said the investigation of noise complaints also has to be weighed against other police calls. County Attorney Angela Evans told Council any change in the noise ordinance needs to ensure there is equitable enforcement. Council did not take action on the noise ordinance, but it will remain in committee.

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Photo: Fayette County Attorney Angela Evans discussed noise ordinance issues at the Urban County Council Social Services and Public Safety Committee meeting on August 22, 2023. (Stu Johnson for WEKU)

Republished with permission.