If it seems like Clayton council members have been dealing with the question of how to create the best noise ordinance in town for a long time, well, you wouldn’t be wrong.
The question has arisen, faded and arisen again and council members still don’t have a great answer for how best to deal with the question.
The truth is, a growing community will generate an increasingly large amount of noise. Traffic will grow. The number of people walking their dogs will grow. The number of plants and factories will grow. And the number of people attending a football or baseball game at the local high school will grow.
To be sure, some of those noises are more acceptable in some places than others. But the fact is, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Council members are being asked to create an ordinance that has so many corkscrew turns in it, that enforcement will be a logistical nightmare.
Town officials should be willing to give law enforcement officers wide lattitude in enforcing an ordinance, allowing them to use their discretion, when a complaint is less-than warranted or when the nature of a noise is temporary.
Councilman are trying to untie something of a Gordian Knot with this issue and we hope they will be flexibe in their willingness to revisit whatever ordinance they ultimately approve.
It seems likely, given the trouble they’ve had settling on noise limits, that their final decision will not solve all the problems and could create unintended consequences.