City Seeks Public Input on Proposed Noise Ordinance

The City of Tallahassee is seeking public input to help strike the appropriate balance between the sounds of peaceful neighborhoods and a vibrant urban area. During the next six weeks, residents and business owners are being asked to provide feedback on a proposed noise ordinance. City staff will use the information collected to make any needed adjustments to the ordinance before bringing it back to the City Commission this fall.

In December 2012, court rulings negated the City’s ability to use state statutes to address noise concerns. Staff began working on a local ordinance after collecting data, researching options and working with a citizens group. The proposed ordinance identifies sound levels based on the time of day and the location within the city. It also allows law enforcement to issue warnings and citations and to regulate special events for noise that exceeds certain decibel levels.

“The objective of this ordinance is to establish legal means to address noise concerns in a way that balances city living with the ability to also enjoy our homes and environment,” said City Commissioner Nancy Miller, lead commissioner on the City’s Long Range Planning target issue committee. “It’s essential that we hear from residents and business owners alike in order to best define exactly what that balance is.”

With direction from the City Commission, staff has begun meeting with neighborhood and business associations to encourage residents and local business owners to review and provide comments on the draft ordinance. Citizens are able to review a summary of the ordinance, read it in its entirety and submit their comments and feedback online at Talgov.com. Any group interested in a presentation about the proposed ordinance can contact the City Attorney’s Office at 891-8554 or Noise.Ordinance@talgov.com.

Feedback will be collected until September 15. The proposed ordinance is expected to go before the City Commission for approval this fall.

For more information, to request a presentation or to provide feedback on the proposed noise ordinance, visit Talgov.com. Questions can also be addressed by staff in the City Attorney’s Office at 891-8554 or Noise.Ordinance@talgov.com.