Some in the audience clapped after city councilmembers voted unanimously for the ordinance, which sets a cap for noise that travels past a neighboring property line. Lawn equipment, garbage trucks, and dogs and cats are largely exempt.
The vote came after a lengthy session of public comments and deliberation among the council. Supporters of the ordinance cited the health risks of noise pollution. Opponents were concerned about the impact on businesses, and argued the ordinance would detract from the city’s efforts to attract young people.
The old ordinance called for the city’s environmental protection agency to enforce noise limits, an arrangement city EPA director Jacob Keating said was unusual.
“There’s only one other environmental protection agency at the city level in the state," he said, "but yet still, their noise ordinance falls under the police department where 98 percent, something close to all the noise ordinances fall.”
The new ordinance gives police the ability to enforce.