Chipley approves noise ordinance

CHIPLEY – A noise ordinance that allows for quiet hours and a sound level standard was approved when Chipley City Council met in regular session Tuesday, August 10. 

The ordinance goes hand in hand with the newly purchased sound meters to be used by law enforcement when they are called out for a noise complaint. The measure also lays out guidelines for quiet hours and decibel levels that must be adhered to. 

The ordinance provides for sound to be measured “at or beyond the real property line of the property from which the sound emanates.”

Restrictions for non-residential properties include not exceeding 85 decibels between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. That limit changes to 75 decibels between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., Sunday night/Monday morning through Thursday night/Friday morning, and between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., Friday night/Saturday morning and Saturday night/Sunday morning.

For residential properties, a 65-decibel limit is set for between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., 

For reference, a study by Purdue University, equates 85 decibels to a running lawn mower, 75 decibels to a running dishwasher, and 65 decibels is equivalent to the sound of laughter. 

In other items, the council voted to approve the disbursement of $1,000 to each member of the Chipley Fire Department. This comes in the wake of Governor DeSantis giving first responders across the state in paid positions $1,000 out of the American Rescue Plan funding. These funds were not provided for volunteers, and the city wanted to make sure volunteers were taken care of. The $22,000 total cost will come out of the general fund. 

Chipley City Council will meet again in workshop at 5 p.m. on August 9.