SPRINGDALE— The Springdale Town Council approved a town noise ordinance, among other business, at a regular council meeting on Wednesday.
The council voted to approve revisions to the town’s noise ordinance 4-1 after deliberation. The Springdale Planning Commission brought the ordinance to the council for a second time after being asked to make revisions allowing the use of items such as lawn equipment and raising the decibel limits.
“What we asked for was to make sure that in normal life, we can exist without having to have a decibel meter,” Mayor Stan Smith said. “If I’m out mowing my lawn, and my lawn mower is louder than normal, I shouldn’t be cited. I’m just mowing my lawn.”
The original ordinance revision limited the decibels that could be made in town to no more than 95 for 30 seconds or more, with lower limits in other town zones and times of the day.
The revised ordinance revision that was passed Wednesday prohibits noises louder than 90 decibels that last for 30 seconds or more from 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., 60 decibels from 8-10 p.m. and 50 decibels from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. in all zones.
Additional exemptions were also added, including noise from construction between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.; garbage, deliver and similar trucks; noises made during yard maintenance; normal noises made by motor vehicles; town events and festivals; and building operation noises such as air conditioning units.
The idea behind the revision is to give police the ability to actually enforce the current noise ordinance by giving them specific, measurable decibel limits to use when necessary. The intention is to reduce noise disturbances that residents have complained about without hindering their ability to practice everyday behaviors such as yard work.
“I don’t think I should have to hear amplified anything when my windows are closed in my house,” council member Lisa Zumpft said. “If I hear it in my house, it sure doesn’t seem like it’s appropriate.”
Council member Mike Alltucker was the only one to vote “no” to passing the ordinance revision.
“I think it’s overreaching,” he said. “I don’t think it focuses on the problem, and it creates enormous unintended consequences. So I’m a big fat ‘no.’”
During the meeting, the council also approved a preliminary plat for a cottage housing development to build nine units in the Canyon Cottonwoods subdivision.
The council also granted a full-service retail liquor license request for the Spotted Dog Cafe and voted unanimously to hire Fehr & Peers Transportation Consultants to complete a feasibility study for a regional trail extending from Springdale to Hurricane.
Thomas Dansie, director of community development, said Springdale officials, along with the Utah Department of Transportation, have plans to fund the project with hopes of receiving additional funding from other municipalities who have already expressed interest.
The council also approved a $5,000 grant to the Red Rock Weavers Guild for their Lion Boulevard Lamppost Concrete Base Mosaic Project, in which they would create a mosaic wall at the Springdale park.
Another item on the agenda that the council debated was a recommendation from the Planning Commission to eliminate all the development incentives they currently offer to builders in exchange for being allowed an exception to the town’s policies on building size and height, increased density, reduced setbacks or reduced amounts of required landscape.
The council members were hesitant to pass the ordinance revision and postponed discussion to a work meeting at a date to be decided this month to go over each incentive and decide what should be kept and what should be eliminated.
The work meeting will be open to the public, after which council members hope comments will be made by the public either by email, in person or at the next council meeting on Aug. 14, at which time they hope to vote on the matter.
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