Norcross amends city noise ordinance

NORCROSS - The Norcross City Council voted Monday night to amend the city's noise ordinance to allow "noise-producing" work to take place on Saturdays when necessary.

When the meeting opened, councilman Josh Bare asked to add this issue to the agenda. Councilman Mike Lovelady protested saying, "we agreed to commit that (issue) to a policy work session for proper discussion." The item was added to Monday's agenda, however.

The amendment will allow the community development director to grant, at his discretion and by 10-day permit, work to take place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.

Initially, the idea was to limit construction noise in the city to reasonable limits. But as Bare said, "we can not regulate builders and not regulate homeowners."

While the issue is the noise created by certain types of work, Lovelady argued that under the amended ordinance, "if I, as a homeowner, start painting my house at 8 a.m., I am in violation of this ordinance. We need to make it clearer. The marshal can not enforce this as it is written."

Mayor Lillian Webb commented that the ordinance is clear enough, and that reasonable people could work out any exceptions. Following more deliberation, the council voted to approve the amendment.

This action follows a recent investigation by Lovelady into alleged lax inspection and code enforcement policies by the city. Officials also approved a request for qualifications be issued to hire a city inspector. Replies to the request are due at City Hall by 4 p.m. Aug. 26 and will be opened Aug. 29.