Mount Pleasant gives update on noise ordinance pilot program
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - Mount Pleasant has 30 days left in the trial period for a new noise ordinance that sets a new townwide noise limit.
The pilot program suggests a 55-decibel limit, but during the 90-day trial period, officers are not citing anyone who violates that limit. Police are still using their own discretion when it comes to complaints, while using decibel readers to gather data around town.
Police reported an update to city council members, saying only eight citizen noise complaints came in during the month of June. Throughout the pilot program, officers have been reading decibels with a machine when they get to where a complaint was made, as well as proactively reading sound throughout the town. This is to gather data and find what they call a reasonable number for an ordinance.
All officer-initiated readings and complaint readings in June had an average of 58 decibels, with a high of 72, and a low of 45. Hearing those numbers, council members and Mayor Will Haynie say they think 55 decibels was a good start for the pilot program.
Haynie says they will likely adjust it a little higher once they see the full trial period data at the end of the summer.
“What we’re seeing because our police are coming back every month with readings, not based on complaints, but they’re just going out and getting readings just so we have an idea is that generally, generally, noise levels are much lower and Mount Pleasant than we would have thought they were and the complaints are few and far between,” Haynie says.
He says right now he is leaning toward adjusting the decibels up from 55 to 60.
“At our August meeting after we’ve had this full 90-day pilot program, we will try to decide what that decibel level is from the property of the complainant not at the source of the noise,” Haynie says.
Councilwoman Guang Ming Whitley is also in favor of raising the limit from 55 to 60 decibels based on the reports so far.
“I think 60 is reasonable from the complainant’s property. I think would affect the most egregious sound violations and still allow kids playing at the pool to have a good time,” Whitley says.
The police will continue compiling data for the next 30 days and will discuss the details of a permanent ordinance in the August council meeting.
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