Hillsborough to attempt noise ordinance again

TAMPA - Hillsborough County will try again to pass a noise ordinance.

On Thursday, commissioners directed the state attorney, county attorney, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and Environmental Protection Agency to work on language for a potential ordinance.

The Sheriff's Office asked for the ordinance after the previous ordinance was ruled unconstitutional a few years ago. There is currently no ordinance in place, making it difficult for law enforcement to stop anyone from making a disruptive noise at their house.

An early draft of the ordinance limits the scope of the ordinance to noise originating from a residential property. Commissioners would have to decide if it should extend to commercial establishments as well, said Commissioner Al Higginbotham.

The noise ordinance would not apply to car stereos.

The early draft of the ordinance specifies what noises could constitute a violation, including bells, sirens, music, leafblowers and even yelling.

However, it would be up to a deputy's discretion whether the noise was loud enough to merit a civil citation. Violators could face a fine.

The commission will take up the issue again in late February.

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