Noise ordinance under consideration

Published 9:57 am Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The possibility of a noise ordinance is being discussed in Charlotte County, following an October meeting of the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors.

During the meeting, Drakes Branch residents Yvonne and Timmy Dix expressed concerns regarding noise in close proximity to their property and the necessity of ordinances within the county.

She said her family and their neighbors are being subjected to the acts of a nuisance neighbor, “who has capitalized on the lack of ordinances within the county … to bully us.”

The problems started Aug. 4.

Yvonne said bright construction lights are shined throughout the night, generators are running, playing loud music at all hours and setting off propane cannons every 7-10 minutes.

“The yard is littered with several unregistered vehicles, dog pens, three porta-johns and that’s just naming a few things,” she said. “The irony to this, is that there is no one living on the property. The generator, which supplies electricity to the loud stereo and lights needs to be refilled numerous times daily and are not supervised, ultimately providing a fire risk.”

Yvonne said the intrusions could depreciate the value of her property and those in the area. She said clarification of property lines is also needed.

She also said since the Board of Supervisors meeting, a truck and blazer that were also on the property have been removed, however, an RV still remains.

“We now have four pigs that are in the dog lot with the dogs. They are separated by a fence,” said Yvonne.

She provided pictures and videos to the public during her presentation.

“I am sure that this is not the only place in our County that has or has had these issues,” Yvonne said. However, if we the citizens and as elected officials don’t work to address issues such as these, we are essentially incentivizing such deplorable behavior. We encourage the board to strongly consider the implementation of ordinances within the county …”

Chairman of the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors Gary Walker said it was decided the best way to handle the matter would be to send it to the Planning Commission to start considering the possibilities of what could be done, if anything.

“That’s the normal process …” said Walker.

“How is this a Planning Commission issue? …” asked Phenix/Aspen Supervisor Donna Fore.

“The Planning Commission is a advisory board to this group,” said Charlotte County Administrator Daniel Witt. “And, I think that the Planning Commission can look at this and do the legwork/footwork on this and do some research …”

Witt said he had already started some research and found three counties in close proximity who had noise ordinances.

“So I think rather than taking up the board’s time doing research, allow the Planning Commission as an advisory committee to this board to do the research (and) look at what other counties are doing …” said Witt.

He said the Commission could then bring a recommendation back so the Board of Supervisors were not starting from the bottom.

Fore said she did not object, however, she would like a member of the public to be involved moving forward to help craft the policy.

Walker said two public hearings would have to be held regarding the matter. “All of their meetings are open to the public …” he said in reference to the Planning Commission.

Fore said the public is being directly impacted.

“The Planning Commission is not the public?” asked Red House/ Cullen Supervisor Nancy Carwile.

Carwile said members of the public are representatives on the Planning Commission.

“It is horrible what is happening to the Dixs’” said Wylliesburg/ Red Oak Supervisor Kay Pierantoni. “…I just hope that we won’t jump the gun and have a knee jerk reaction, because … noise would only solve one or two of those issues … I’m hoping that law enforcement’s going to do everything they can to give her relief … and that she can take legal action …”

Pierantoni said she would suggest the Planning Commission to go slow.

“I have had a complaint from someone in my district with a similar harassment going on, and the individuals involved start at 8:30 on Sunday mornings playing loud music, so it’s not an isolated incident, it’s happening in other parts of the county …” said Fore.

“I’ve been here for 52 years and I don’t plan on going anywhere,” said Yvonne.

She said ordinances may not help their individual situation, but it may hopefully help someone else.