Public Meeting to Discuss Noise Ordinance Changes

by ARLnow.com November 14, 2012 at 11:50 am 5,295 29 Comments

The second of two scheduled public meetings on proposed changes to Arlington noise control ordinance will be held tonight.

Code enforcement staff and police department officials will be on hand to answer questions and concerns about the planned changes, which will dramatically increase fines for noise ordinance violations while eliminating subjective standards for enforcement.

Tonight’s public forum will be held at the Shirlington Branch Library (4200 Campbell Avenue) from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.  At its October meeting, the Arlington County Board voted to defer a formal public hearing on the noise control ordinance changes until after public input was gathered at two meetings, the first of which was held yesterday.

The county has produced a video about the noise ordinance changes, as seen above.

  • JnA

    First group of idiots to go after: owners of Ninja motorcycles who crank them up to 18,000 RPM in second gear.

  • 22201 for 12

    Isn’t kind of funny that a meeting on noise is in a library?

    • Alanis

      I would say kind of ironic……

  • Swag

    What a spectacularly uninformative video.

    I’m guessing $100,000.

    • Suburban Not Urban


      I know some of it was just code folks – I recognize them – but the voice sounded like a paid pro. Would have been nice if they actually talked about the new proposals.

    • ACDC Hack

      “What a spectacularly uninformative video.”

      You were expecting something else ??

  • Alex

    It’s about time we have some effective noise control…

    • Andy


    • Can you hear me now?

      We would like noise control.

      Effective noise control?

      Is there any other kind?

  • Not Me

    This is AWESOME NEWS!!!

    The A Holes in my neighborhood who let their dogs go bananas each and every damned day may finally have to take responsibility.


    And if you own a dog and it’s barking outside. BRING IT IN. Your neighbors DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT.

    Peace y’all.

    • Glebe Roader

      AMEN on the dog noise stuff.

  • drax

    Death to leaf blowers!

  • Sarcasm

    This is America! If you want to be in some cushy happy society where everyone agrees on what’s loud and what’s not loud then go move to Canada! Socialists!

  • Thes

    What are they doing about leaf blowers? Can Arlington join the growing number of American communities that have banned gasoline-powered leaf blowers?

    • Quoth the Raven

      But then how are the landscaping guys working next door going to get all the leaves onto my lawn?

      • Exactly


    • BlueSkies

      Ooo, thanks for this! Excellent idea!

    • bemused bystander

      Best way to escape leaf blowers is to move to a high-rise or townhome area that has no yards.

      • drax

        See, a long time ago, this thing called “civilization” was invented.

      • Thes

        Sadly, not true. This weekend, the townhouse community outside my window had the leaf blowers going at deafening power for nearly the entire morning.

        • bemused bystander

          Then clearly your ‘hood isn’t urban enough!

      • Clarendon

        Let the leaves be. Nature will take care of them.

      • Old Yeller

        We need a new ordinance that says no more leaf blowers, only leaf vacuums. You just gotta wonder how many times each leaf gets blown back and forth. Seems more like a tennis game than a cleanup operation.

  • I, too, am eager to have more codified clout, and hopefully now some consequence, for stopping the barking, yapping dogs. It is already illegal for any homeowner to cause/allow noise for a extended time that crosses property lines, but enforcement is nonexistent—–about the best one can do is make a report to Animal Welfare, ask for an officer to visit the home. But unlike common and customary urban noises that we expect and must accept—–talking, cars starting and passing by, delivery trucks, trash trucks, the occasional chain saw and so on—–barking more than a couple of SECONDS, if at all, is completely under the control of your neighbor allowing it. It is lazy and lax ownership, just selfish and uncivil to impose the barking on neighbors. These would be the first people to complain if MY dogs were tied in the front yard and barking for 3-4 hours straight, or waking those people early in the morning, as their dogs do me. I’m so tired of this rude, selfish behavior (and feel sorry for the dogs—–they’re put in a miserable position of wanting to be with the family, not left outside, and feeling either frightened or increasingly agressive toward all the people, cars, other animals, etc., that pass their ‘territory’, the yard in which they are tied.) I’m in 22207—–I’m not talking about way out in the country! Please, please, take responsibility for your dogs, do not inflict the barking on your neighbors. I will be one who at least tries to remedy this on my few blocks’ auditory domain. It should not come to having more-firm noise ordinances for residents to do the right thing for neighbors and also for their dogs. And, no, NOT a dog-hater: I have always had at least 2, and taken in strays and raised pup for a service organization, etc. But my dogs are told/trained not to annoy the neighbors, interrupt the peaceful enjoyment of nearby homeowners. They of course do occasionally bark—-this a.m., for example, when workers from the back-yard neighbor’s house came into our yard—–but a couple of ‘Arfs’ and they’re done. If one gets excited and wants to bark at a squirrel in the tree, e.g, she loses the privilege of being outside until she calms down.

    • stop the barking

      I want to start a movement with you! Sorry to say that after attending the meeting last night that we, as victims of the dog barking, must simply initiate suits in civil court against the offending dog owners. Unless noise code enforcement can witness the offense personally, during business hours, there is no offense. I want to start suing them since nothing else will teach them to be responsible. (I’ve had many a door slammed in my face, my house and car egged, neighbors screaming in my face, all because I requested dog owners (politely) to 1) clean up after dogs 2) keep them on leash and 3) TRAIN them to not bark. (All mandated by law in Arlington, by the way). Seems simple, but for selfish dog owners, it is beyond their capacity…No enforcement means pitting neighbor against neighbor, suing and clogging the court. Another sound solution by Arlington County.

  • Right of Center

    Ding Ding Ding Ding
    …but what about the trolleys?

  • Capt. Obvious

    And those huge commercial vehicles that park along McKinley ever night and wake me up every morning at 6am after my shift at Gw hospital are ok. Why are tree removal trucks and KitchMark vehicles pewrmited to park overnight in a residential area, make them park at their business addresses

  • Brian

    So, this settled nothing. Great video with zero information.

    I live in a condo and have a neighbor who sits inside and reads in silence all day (I believe she’s studying for the bar). She has complained several times about noise, even on occasions when the noise isn’t coming from me. I’m not a bad neighbor. I honestly try to keep it down, but there’s no way I can watch TV at a normal level and the sound won’t reach her. I wish she’d just go to the library if she needs that much quiet. We live right over the metro, a bus station and a taxi stand. There’s always some level of noise here.

    Well, am I breaking a law? Thanks to Arlington, I’ll never know until the police show up.

  • Justin Kase

    How about folks at least showing enough class and consideration to lock their cars without honking their horn? (Those devices, and audible car alarms, should have never been invented. When’s the last time anybody called 911 for an alarm?)


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