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Public gets chance to weigh in on noise proposal

Macon County commissioners appear to be amenable to the planning board’s proposed plan to deal with nuisance noise, but the public will have one more chance to voice its opinions before the board takes a final vote. 

The planning board was tasked with drafting a noise ordinance in September to address complaints from residents regarding noisy neighbors. The complaints were about neighbors maliciously making noise at all hours to disturb the peace. 

After holding a number of meetings, including three in January, Planning Director Matt Mason presented a draft to commissioners. Many members of the planning board had different ideas of what should be included, but ultimately it came down to following the commissioners’ specific directives — address the problem, not potential or future problems. 

“I think we’ve achieved the goals the board gave us,” Mason said, adding that the ordinance should be an evolving document as problems arise. 

The planning board worked closely with Sheriff Robbie Holland and County Attorney Chester Jones. 

The proposed “Macon County Nuisance Ordinance” prohibits nuisances that result from loud, unnecessary and disturbing noise. The ordinance further defines loud, unnecessary and disturbing noise as “any noise intentionally created which because of its volume level, duration and/or character annoys, disturbs, injures, or endangers the comfort, health, peace, or safety of reasonable persons of ordinary sensibilities in the county.”

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Mason said the word “intentionally” was deliberately used to limit the nuisance ordinance. Also, tailoring the ordinance to only prohibit nuisance noise made by people ensures noise made by domestic animals is not included in the ordinance. 

“There were a lot of questions that came up about dogs,” Mason said. 

Planning Board Chairman Chris Haners said he also heard concerns about the ordinance prohibiting shooting guns, loud music in neighborhoods, dogs and nonprofit activities. He said he feels like all those concerns were addressed with the exemptions portion of the ordinance. 

The sheriff would be responsible for enforcing the ordinance and any person violating the ordinance would be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. The fine would not exceed $500. 

Commission Chairman Kevin Corbin thanked the planning board for its work on the issue. He said he had received calls from people who thought the proposed language was too strict and from those who thought it wasn’t strict enough.

“I think we should go ahead and put it on the agenda in another six months to see how it’s working and make any deletions or corrections needed down the road,” he said. 

Commissioners agreed to hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, during their regular meeting. 

The board will also discuss future tasks for the planning board during the March 31 meeting. 



Macon County’s proposed nuisance noise ordinance would exempt noise created by:

• Legal operations of any industrial operation, commercial business, nonprofit organization, or governmental facility or function.

• Normal maintenance and operations of residential and commercial property. 

• Agricultural and horticultural operations.

• Authorized emergency vehicles.

• Military, law enforcement activities, or educational institution. 

• Any bell or chime from any building clock, school or church.

• Lawful fireworks on holidays and at religious ceremonies. 

• Any public recreational event or public entertainment activity.

• Firearms while being used in a lawful and safe manner.

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