Bel Air Officials Take Step Toward Increased Noise Regulations
A public hearing will be held on the legislation in early December.
Bel Air commissioners approved the first step in expanding town noise regulations to include sound vibrations.
The proposed changes to existing noise regulations would make it illegal for high levels of noise vibrations— those heavy enough to move objects or for someone to feel—to extend beyond a person's property line.
The change is within the parameters of the state law and was inspired primarily by noise concerns surrounding bars and taverns in downtown Bel Air, Director of Administration, Joyce Oliver, said during Monday's meeting.
Chief Leo Matrangola said during the meeting that the proposed change would allow town police to enforce sound complaints based on personal observations, not just decibel level.
See a copy of the proposed legislation attached to this story.
Find updates from the meeting below:
7:56 p.m.: The meeting is adjourned.
7:53 p.m.: Carey asks about family leave. He asks for clarification on whether the town is required by federal law to allow vacation accrual while a person is on family leave.
7:52 p.m.: All vote in favor of and the ordinance is introduced.
7:50 p.m.: Chief Leo Matrangola says the change is inspired by a number of town residents who have complained about noise and vibrations of their homes due to loud music. He says the proposed changes would allow town police to enforce the law based on personal observations.
7:49 p.m.: An amendment including noise vibrations as a violation is permitted by the state and will allow officers to enforce noise complaints and improve the quality of life for town residents. A public hearing is scheduled for December.
7:48 p.m.: Oliver says there are several establishments in town that use song and dancing, and late at night police sometimes receive noise complaints, however the decibel reader often does not pick up the level of sound although officers can feel the vibrations outside.
7:47 p.m.: Reier moves to introduce noise regulation ordinance.
7:46 p.m.: Oliver says it’s cheaper to have their outside source calculate family leave time because it can be in-depth.
7:44 p.m.: Oliver says the leave policy will be calculated back 12 weeks.
7:44 p.m.: Carey asks for an explanation of available leave time language.
7:43 p.m.: Oliver explains family medical leave laws change each year. The town’s current policy is very precise and it is recommended to establish a more standard policy.
7:42 p.m.: Carey moves to adopt the family medical leave act.
7:42 p.m.: The end cost of the contract is about 26,000, Oliver said. The agreement is for three years. All vote in favor and the agreement is approved.
7:38 p.m.: Commissioner Susan Burdette moves to approve a renewed agreement with Complus Data Innovations for processing of parking tickets. The town has been working with the company for several years, director of administration, Joyce Oliver, says.
7:37 p.m.: Commissioner David Carey moves to have Hopkins continue as chair and Reier continue as vice chair. All vote in favor and both men continue in their roles.
7:35 p.m.: The young man is treasurer for student government, plays trumpet, is involved in travel soccer and destination imagination.
7:33 p.m.: Commissioner Robert Reier recognizes Bel Air Middle School student Josh Murrell for academic excellence.
7:32 p.m.: “He epitomizes what I think we want the town and people who visit the town to represent,” Hopkins says. He called Kennard’s smile infectious and demeanor friendly. Hopkins adds it didn’t matter that he had a fire truck, his kids wanted to see “Jimmy.”
7:31 p.m.: Kennard is the longest tenured Bel Air employee with 43 years of service. He was hired in July 1969. He is retiring soon.
7:30 p.m.: The town recognizes Jimmy Kennard.
7:29 p.m.: Mayor Edward Hopkins calls the meeting to order.
7:25 p.m.: Town hall is filled with chatter as department heads take their seats.