(PNJ) – Santa Rosa County is tightening up its noise ordinance to make it illegal for sounds louder than 60 decibels — the sound level of a normal conversation or a dishwasher — to come from private or commercial properties between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
That’s a marked change from the county’s old noise ordinance, which is more subjective and requires a deputy or code enforcement officer to sit in his or her patrol car with the windows up outside the offending property line and determine if they can hear the noise coming from inside the property. The new ordinance will utilize calibrated decibel readers to determine the actual, scientific level of noise coming from a property.
Santa Rosa County’s Development Services Director Chris Phillips said the county has essentially taken the ordinance and made it a matter of “tangible testing” instead of something that’s subjectively “plainly audible.”
“The plainly audible standard was very challengeable. … The decibel meter criteria is pretty hard to argue with,” Phillips said. “A decibel meter is calibrated per manufacturer’s recommendations, and some models can even provide a printout on site. READ MORE