Is city's noise ordinance enforceable?

By Dave Sherry

July 30, 2013 Updated Jul 30, 2013 at 10:54 PM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) If you're mowing your lawn, technically, you're violating the city's noise ordinance.

But local leaders admitted Tuesday night that the code may not even be enforceable.

The noise ordinance topped Tuesday's Municipal and Public Affairs Committee meeting, drawing out plenty of questions and concerns, including who should receive and enforce complaints -- code enforcement or police?

Another discussion began about how loud is too loud.

"We sort of key it to a lawnmower. That's 90 decibel levels. Now, is that enough? Is that not enough? We have to look at the whole thing, I think. Decide what levels are allowable and then it gives the people something so we can try to enforce something if we do get calls," said committee chairman Jerry Motsavage.

As the code stands now, the 90 decibels of a lawnmower is well above any limit, at any time, in any location within the city.

There's is also the fact that no one in the city is currently trained to enforce noise ordinances or use decibel meters.

Leaders said that calls into question how citations can be served or whether they'll hold up in court.

The committee meets again Aug. 19 to try and clear up the discrepancies.

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