Council may tweak noise ordinance
November 5, 2010
Some Summit County residents say noise from delivery trucks, helicopters and construction sites should be tightly regulated. Building should not begin too early and drivers should not make deliveries before 7 a.m., they say.
But several Snyderville Basin homeowners share their neighborhoods with a mix of commercial establishments, which depend on late-night hours and early morning deliveries to stay in business.
The Summit County Council is considering tweaking a noise ordinance to allow businesses in commercial and mixed-use areas to receive deliveries at any time.
"It is imperative that we allow these trucks to deliver at those times in the morning," said John Burdick, of Maxwell’s East Coast Eatery.
Deliveries are currently prohibited in Summit County between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. Critics say they are sometimes awakened at 4:30 a.m. by trucks with noisy refrigeration systems rumbling along Redstone Center Drive.
But the county’s noise ordinance "was not reflecting reality," Summit County Councilwoman Claudia McMullin said.
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McMullin said she supports eliminating the time restrictions for deliveries in commercial zones.
Some drivers on the West Side of Summit County begin work at 4 a.m. Businesspeople said drivers have been ticketed and pushed from some areas for violating the county’s noise ordinance.
"They basically think they can’t follow those rules because they need vendors to deliver prior to 7 a.m.," Deputy Summit County Attorney Helen Strachan said.
Strachan has recommended the Summit County Council vote to remove the time restrictions for deliveries in commercial areas.
"So you could pretty much unload boxes whenever you want in the commercial zone We’re talking about mixed-use areas as well. In the Snyderville Basin it would be the neighborhood commercial zones or the town center zones," Strachan said. "Anywhere there is mixed use commercial and residential, or strictly commercial zones."
Delivery drivers must still follow other regulations in the county’s noise ordinance.
"They’d probably still have to comply with certain decibel levels. I can’t imagine unloading a box would read a measure of 70 decibels," Strachan said.
County health officials and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office would likely be responsible for enforcing any changes.
"The chronic problem that you have at Redstone: we’re not good at addressing that," Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Dean Carr said. "We’re really reluctant to go in and disturb a person’s business."
Strachan said she expects the Summit County Council to hold a public hearing on the proposed changes to the noise ordinance in December.
"We want to get this done," McMullin said.