Archive for Thursday, June 17, 2010

County seeks to squelch noise problems

June 17, 2010


Insensitive sounds in rural Douglas County would be muffled under a resolution endorsed Wednesday night by county commissioners.

Responding to complaints from rural residents about seemingly continual driving of all-terrain vehicles and other disruptive sounds, commissioners agreed to prohibit overnight expressions of “excessive noise” in areas outside Lawrence, Eudora, Baldwin City and Lecompton.

Commissioner Jim Flory, a former prosecutor who helped craft the resolution, said the rules were intended to silence relatively obvious problems, not stifle typical activities on farms, ranches, homesteads or anywhere else.

The resolution exempts a number of activities from the prohibition, including permitted business activity, the use of firearms during otherwise lawful hunting activity, and regular agricultural operations.

“This is to deal with the most egregious circumstances, not to prohibit normal circumstances in the county,” Flory said. “If you’ve got to combine wheat at midnight, you’ve got to combine wheat at midnight. I think everybody understands that.”

The resolution will take effect within a week, said Craig Weinaug, county administrator. Under its terms, excessive noise will be prohibited in rural areas from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily, and violations will be punishable by:

• A fine of $100 for a first offense within a 12-month period.

• A fine of $100 to $250, and/or 30 days in jail, for a second offense within 12 months.

• A fine of $250 to $500, and/or up to 90 days in jail, for a third and each successive offense within a 12-month period.

Nancy Thellman, commission chairwoman, described the resolution as “a very reasonable response” to complaints. Even certain “temporary” activities, such as sporting events, theatrical productions, musical shows and other county-approved events, would not be subject to the ban.

But “entertainment,” Flory said, still has its limits.

“Driving a go-cart around in circles in your backyard at 3 o’clock in the morning with no muffler may be entertaining to you,” Flory said, “but it violates this resolution.”


kansasmutt 8 years ago

What a bunch of BS. This is what you get when the city people move to the country. Why not outlaw everything.I have never heard of such a non productive bunch of leaders.Kansas is starting to sound like Russia 1964 Dont smoke, drink, cus or make any noise. This last year has taken more rights away from Kansans than the last 50 years, all the while Russian people are getting more rights and freedoms. WTF is wrong with people ?

countrygirl 8 years ago

What about my right to peace, quiet and a decent night's sleep?

Truthspeaker 8 years ago

1. That's a RIGHT?

2. Buy Earplugs.

parrothead8 8 years ago

Kansas is starting to sound like Russia in 1964? about a bunch of BS. You obviously don't know much about Soviet history.

Who has been told they are not allowed to smoke, drink, cuss, or make any noise? The resolution specifically states that there ARE legitimate reasons for making noise late at night. How is it "taking rights away" to tell people they should let their neighbors sleep at 3 AM?

Zachary Stoltenberg 8 years ago

It's probably like most other stupid laws. This is directed at someone in particular. Someone got ticked off and went to the commission about it.

John Hamm 8 years ago

And it's about time some of what goes on is limited!

sourpuss 8 years ago

A trip we made to Colorado to camp way back in the 80s was effectively ruined by morons riding ATVs and dirt bikes up and down the campground access road -all- -day- -long-. If all these people wanted to do was to drive around, why didn't they stay in Denver? Those machines are noisy, polluting, and completely ruin any sense of having gotten out of a noisy, dirty city. I'd love to see them taken off the market entirely, or at least muffled to the extent they cannot be heard.

gccs14r 8 years ago

How about enforcing the dB limit on vehicle exhaust? Go after all the Harleys (and clones) with open pipes.

ksjayhawk74 8 years ago

Why those damn obnoxiously loud Harley mufflers are even legal is beyond me.

This episode of South Park sums it up very nicely...

Michael Sizemore 8 years ago

Agree gccs - Start with the F-arleys. Cars aren't allowed to run with open pipes, why are bikes? I understand it's all part of "the image", but when my windows rattle and my child wakes up every time some insucure biker rolls past my house - where did my rights go? I can look past the attention craving little boys in their modified exhaust imports or pickups, it's the mid-life crisis, viagra-popping, mud-flap having wannabes that should know better.

trinity 8 years ago

wow somebody took a bitter pill today. ok, first of all-i am certainly not an "attention craving little boy" nor am i an "insucure(sic)biker". i'm a woman who rides a Harley. mine has stock pipes that would probably be too loud, in your opinion; i intend to get some that will ratchet up my sound just a bit louder, though. not to annoy people or be obnoxious; but rather to give me one more tool to use against tools behind the wheel of a car. also for the deer, dogs, etc that frequent the backroads i enjoy riding on.
you understand nothing of "the image"; if you did, you'd realize that very few who ride give a rat's a$$ about image.

Michael Sizemore 8 years ago

I actually agree with you. Any woman on a harley probably isn't concerned with image. I commend you on driving your own, and not being a backseat betty. Please provide your address so that I can pull my flathead with open pipes in front of your house at 3:00 in the morning and gun it every night for the next year, and then we'll discuss. Loud pipes saves lives, man! What a load of crap. "biggunz" - I can't explain the muscle car phenomenon, I don't have a mullet or a rat-tail, but I bet $5 trinity does. And yes, most muscle cars of that era are in fact now owned by middle-aged men trying to recapture their youth.

trinity 8 years ago

lol...if you "drive" a motorcycle-you've probably never owned one. you can say/call it whatever you choose; i've seen a rap of the pipes bring much-needed attention from animals&humans alike, and thus save the rider and the other. honey you'd lose your 5; no rat tail or mullet here, i am a professional woman, actually. and what do you do for a living?

Michael Sizemore 8 years ago

true-that. organ donors, we call em.

"professional woman" - I bet you are, honey. lol ok - that was uncalled for, but double or nothing says you're gay. lol ok now I'm just cracking myself up. no need to respond to that...I actually do know of 1 woman who rides a bike that is not gay - she and her husband have matching harleys. BTW harleys are lame. they perhaps used to be cool, but now are yuppie domain. Dennis Hoper is dead.

My point was - I don't understand why cars are required to muffle their exhaust and bikes are not.

you are the one who will suffer premature hearing loss, and are more likely to die in a traffic can do whatever you want, this wasn't really about you - IMHO, coming from someone who doesn't "drive" a bike, it appears that having loud pipes is a sad cry for attention.

I am a husband, father, employee of a large organization, and owner of a small business...although I wouldn't say I am a professional at any of those things! Maybe a professional hypocrite, for now it is time for me to go fire up the lawn-mower, so I must bid you adieu.

Happy trails – oh wait one other thing – what’s with the gay little wave harley “drivers” give each other? Further proof harleys (and their drivers) are lame.

inquire 8 years ago

I can't drive my quad at 3am after I get HAMMERED DRUNK?! This is AMERICA! Home of the free and I'll drive MY quad on MY land whenever I darn well please. Ain't no one gonna tell me what I can do on my property. Let's just see Johnny Law try and catch me!

Stuart Evans 8 years ago

just great.. now my 3am air-raid siren testing facility must close!

otto 8 years ago

You know the spelling is bad when you have to read it 2 or 3 times just to get the meaning.

inquire 8 years ago

Jeez. This is AMERICA! Check this song out:

What part of this says, "let's all be quiet and considerate?"

gccs14r 8 years ago

Says you. There are very few farmers or industrial workers in this country any more. Most folks are going off to office or service jobs, so they're not even rolling out of bed until 7.

grimpeur 8 years ago

What am I gonna do with all these blasting caps? I've got some strip mining to do!

And I certainly hope that nuclear testing isn't one of the noises being banned by this onerous and freedom-hating law.

Loud pipes as protection? That's a good one. How about a color other than black? How about some lighting? How about learning to operate a motorcycle?

Nah, just the loud pipes. And the image to go with them. No different than dillweeds driving around in oversized stupidmobiles with blazing fog lights all day and all the fogless night. Image.

Michael Sizemore 8 years ago

Loud pipes save lives! What a load of crap.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 8 years ago

How about seizure of the "equipment" that the disturbance is coming from (i.e. bass cannons). That would be consistent with other nuisance noise disturbances on the books in other locales.

cigard 8 years ago

That's why we live in the country. This will go down a very slippery slope in no time. There will be all kinds of 'noise' restrictions in the future if we let this stand. Will this restrict my house-building at night and on the weekends?

We need to stop it right now - butt out all you Lawrence Commissioners.

poppygirl 8 years ago

darn it, that's why we moved to the country so my husband's butt gas wouldn't get us fined !!!!!

gccs14r 8 years ago

Are you running saws, nail guns, compressors, and whatnot outdoors after 10 p.m? If so, then yes, this affects you (and everyone around you). Sound carries, especially at night. People often move to the country to get away from the noise of the city, not to have the "freedom" to be a selfish ****head. Why not be a decent neighbor and respect quiet hours? You'll probably want it to be quiet when you're trying to sleep in your new house.

trinity 8 years ago

laughing and throwing up my hands in surrender...before this becomes a battle of wits regarding motorcycles&pipes&the volume thereof, i quit; there's a couple posters who are seriously unarmed for the skirmish. you guys win. people who ride motorcycles, whether the pipes rap loud or not, are just a bunch of mulletwearin'rattailhavin'sandwichmunchin'beerdrinkin'hippie freakos. 10-4. pass the Bud.

verity 8 years ago

Once again a law being made because some people were being obnoxious.

These kinds of laws are only made in response to irresponsible and inconsiderate behavior on the part of a few people which negatively affects others. If nobody had been a jerk, the law would never have even been suggested.

1029 8 years ago

nothing's more fun than pointlessly burning away gallons of gas while simultaneously tearing up the earth. i love ATVs. hee-haw

costello 8 years ago

I've lived in the county almost 14 years. I can remember only one night when noisy ATV's woke me up at 2 am or so. Yes, it was irritating, but I'm not sure how this law would have helped me. If I'd called the sheriff, the offender would have been long gone by the time they arrived. I on the other hand would have had to sit up waiting to talk to the deputy. As it was, I listened to them race around a few minutes, then they left and I went back to sleep.

I'm sorry if others are having serious noise problems. I moved to the country - and suffer a long commute to work - partly because I like the quiet and darkness at night, and I would be upset if I were subjected to lots of noise on a regular basis. (Don't get me started on the fact that every new house has to have a street light next to it!) But I also like having fewer regulations than city dwellers. Wouldn't existing laws cover this situation?

puddleglum 8 years ago

open headers should be a right. just don't be a jerk

independant1 8 years ago

Sounds like a good idea. We need a law for every good idea.

Don't want them farmers to escape the heat and harvest/cultivate/bale the south 40 after dark. Too dang noisey if you ask me!

kansasmutt 8 years ago

Loud pipes save lives. Laws allready are in place to take care of noise , so this new venture is to put more control in the hands of the control freaks running the show. They wont be happy until they restrict every aspect of our freedoms.

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