Friday, February 10, 2006

Ambrose Commits to Fixing Noise Law

(CLICK TO ENLARGE) During the Feb. 9 ANC6A monthly meeting, ANC6A Chairman Joe Fengler (left) asks Ward 6 Councilmember Sharon Ambrose to introduce legislation to fix the D.C. noise law. (Copyright © 2006. David Klavitter)

D.C. Ward 6 Councilmember Sharon Ambrose said she would pursue legislative language to fix a loophole in a city statute that permits amplified non-commercial speech from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in or around R4 zones.

The current state of the D.C. law has allowed a religious group to use a powered amplifier to blast residential homes in and around the 700 block of 8th Street NE for hours during Saturday afternoons and evenings.

Ambrose made her commitment during last night’s monthly Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6A meeting at D.C.’s Miner Elementary School.

ANC6A Chairman Joe Fengler asked Councilmember Ambrose to introduce legislation. He indicated an April 15 deadline for this to happen.

During the public meeting, Fengler introduced me and explained our neighborhood’s long-festering dilemma about amplified noise. Ambrose replied that this was a difficult issue because of free speech rights. I agreed with her, and reiterated that our neighborhood supports the right to free speech, religion, and assembly. We only object to the use of a powered amplifier.

Ambrose then asked me if there was a group which performed dances at the intersection of H and 8th Streets NE, near where the noisemakers assemble. I said I was not aware of any dancers, but that the residents wouldn’t object as long as the dancers were quiet.

As a follow-up to last night’s positive development, I also urge the city council, when crafting the new language, to review other municipal noise ordinances to ensure the D.C. law will protect the rights of free speech as well as those rights of peace and quiet.

The council also should move with confidence, knowing that the 1949 U.S. Supreme Court decision KOVACS v. COOPER upheld the legality of municipal ordinances which regulate amplified devices.
(CLICK TO ENLARGE) During the Feb. 9 ANC6A monthly meeting, Ward 6 Councilmember Sharon Ambrose commits to offering language to fix the D.C. noise law. (Copyright © 2006. David Klavitter)


Anonymous Marc said...

Great news! I think it's time to start writing the other council members to make sure they are aware of this effort and on board when the legislation is presented.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job. I will be really happy once it is signed and sealed

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NEWS FLASH!! Hazardous Waste and Noise Pollution by CSX trains!!!!

This Q4Q blog is pitiful... This effort is a non-event... This attempt is at finding a noise polllution source is ridiculous. I live in Ward 7 across the river and there are CSX trains that are as loud as a jet taking off that come past our community at all hours of the night... and the city counsel won't do anything about it... it also carries hazardous cargos through the middle of the nations capitol with no adequate security measures in place in the event of a terrorist attack or accident. Quest for Quiet is a joke on our side of the river!

10:25 PM  
Blogger dKlav said...

Dear anon:

Sorry to hear about your noise and other issues with the CSX trains. What is your Ward 7 councilmember's position on the issue? I can understand the frustration with the city...hence the reason for this blog.

I would be interested to know how the train noise affects you and your neighbors. If you email me, I will post prominently on this Quest for Quiet blog.

Also, I suggest doing what our neighborhood did: Organize, decide what it is you want to achieve and take action. Also, start your own blog, too. It's free.

Stay in touch.

10:07 AM  

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