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HomeNewsArchivesFYI: Sen. Barshinger Seeks Input on Noise Ordinance

FYI: Sen. Barshinger Seeks Input on Noise Ordinance

The following material is being published, unedited, exactly as it was received via e-mail from the office of the government official named, as a Source community service. Government office holders wishing to contribute to the FYI bulletin board must e-mail visource@gmail.com. The Source reserves the right to choose what is published.
Noise in our community has been a big issue recently. My office hosted Town Meetings on St. Croix and St. Thomas. For St. John the meeting will be from 6 pm to 8 pm on Thursday, November 3, 2011 at the new St. John Legislature building.
I have invited community leaders and the Police Department to participate on the panel. The aim of the meetings is to adjust the noise ordinances so that people are satisfied with them and the police can enforce them.
If you want to read the current noise ordinance, go to www.visenate.org and click on the words "see current law". Or, visit any legislative office for assistance.
One of the problems that the police face is that the most recent noise ordinance, passed during the 27th Legislature, is too subjective on some points. What is enjoyable noise to one person may be considered a noise disturbance by another.
Part of the solution will be to have decibel meters, which measure sound intensity. Meters were mandated and funded by the 27th Legislature at a cost of $100,000. Sadly, the VI PD cannot say where the meters are or where the money went.
You can google "decibel level examples" and learn the decibel level of various sounds that you are familiar with. For example, normal conversation at 3 feet is 70 decibels. A rock concert is 125 decibels. The quietest sound you can hear is zero decibels. You can download a decibel meter app onto a smartphone for free, if you are curious to measure some sounds.
In all cases, the distance from the source is critical. The farther you move from a sound source, the lower the decibel reading. The current law did not adequately address the issue of distance. (We can correct that.)
The important thing is that we decide on a shared standard for when, where, and how much noise we can make publicly. (Obviously, you may make any amount of noise you wish if you don’t let it escape your property.)
There are some people who wish to party until dawn every night, and others who wish to have peace and quiet after 9 pm. Some would like quiet for most of the year, but at Carnival time they want to enjoy the bands pumping out the music. No one is "right" or "wrong" on this subject. It is a matter of discussing it and arriving at a shared standard.
We can do that at the Town Meeting. If you are unable to attend the meetings, please give us your input by emailing to: noise@visenate.org.
Craig Barshinger
Senator-at-large, V.I. Legislature

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The following material is being published, unedited, exactly as it was received via e-mail from the office of the government official named, as a Source community service. Government office holders wishing to contribute to the FYI bulletin board must e-mail visource@gmail.com. The Source reserves the right to choose what is published.
Noise in our community has been a big issue recently. My office hosted Town Meetings on St. Croix and St. Thomas. For St. John the meeting will be from 6 pm to 8 pm on Thursday, November 3, 2011 at the new St. John Legislature building.
I have invited community leaders and the Police Department to participate on the panel. The aim of the meetings is to adjust the noise ordinances so that people are satisfied with them and the police can enforce them.
If you want to read the current noise ordinance, go to www.visenate.org and click on the words "see current law". Or, visit any legislative office for assistance.
One of the problems that the police face is that the most recent noise ordinance, passed during the 27th Legislature, is too subjective on some points. What is enjoyable noise to one person may be considered a noise disturbance by another.
Part of the solution will be to have decibel meters, which measure sound intensity. Meters were mandated and funded by the 27th Legislature at a cost of $100,000. Sadly, the VI PD cannot say where the meters are or where the money went.
You can google "decibel level examples" and learn the decibel level of various sounds that you are familiar with. For example, normal conversation at 3 feet is 70 decibels. A rock concert is 125 decibels. The quietest sound you can hear is zero decibels. You can download a decibel meter app onto a smartphone for free, if you are curious to measure some sounds.
In all cases, the distance from the source is critical. The farther you move from a sound source, the lower the decibel reading. The current law did not adequately address the issue of distance. (We can correct that.)
The important thing is that we decide on a shared standard for when, where, and how much noise we can make publicly. (Obviously, you may make any amount of noise you wish if you don't let it escape your property.)
There are some people who wish to party until dawn every night, and others who wish to have peace and quiet after 9 pm. Some would like quiet for most of the year, but at Carnival time they want to enjoy the bands pumping out the music. No one is "right" or "wrong" on this subject. It is a matter of discussing it and arriving at a shared standard.
We can do that at the Town Meeting. If you are unable to attend the meetings, please give us your input by emailing to: noise@visenate.org.
Craig Barshinger
Senator-at-large, V.I. Legislature