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Councilman Seeks a More Enforceable Noise Ordinance

Post Date:10/10/2017

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Council Communications
Atlanta City Hall
55 Trinity Ave. SW
Atlanta, GA  30303 

CONTACT:
The Office of Atlanta City Councilmember Howard Shook
404-330-6050-Direct
hshook@atlantaga.gov – Email

Councilman Seeks a More Enforceable Noise Ordinance

ATLANTA – In an effort to increase the enforceability of Atlanta’s noise ordinance, the members of Atlanta’s Public Safety Committee unanimously voted to adopt a revised version introduced by Councilmember Howard Shook that he believes will lead to more citations and better court outcomes.

The biggest change is a shift away from noise metering equipment in favor of a police officer’s assessment of ‘plainly audible’ sound.  The meter-based findings were deemed overly technical and easy to dispute in court.  The proposed language capitalizes on the success of Athens’ noise ordinance, which in a recent challenge, was upheld by Georgia’s Supreme Court. 

Shook’s frustration with the impotence of the current noise ordinance, which he accused of being as useful “as mammary glands on a fish,” led him to introduce legislation that simply eliminated the entire thing. 

“I hate to say it, but the approach worked,” Shook said.  “It prompted the enforcers—APD, the Solicitor’s Office, the Law Department, and the Municipal Court—to come to the table for an honest discussion about the existing enforcement impediments, and the most promising remedies.  Hopefully the residents of our city will see this as a vast improvement.”

The full Atlanta City Council will take up Shook’s legislation during its 1 p.m. meeting on Monday, October 16 in the Council Chamber.

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