ELKTON — Cecil Countians may need to be a lot quieter at night in the near future, as the County Council approved a noise ordinance bill at Tuesday’s meeting.
A bill to limit noise in residential areas during the evening hours, and their corresponding fines, will restrict high noise levels between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
These restrictions apply to household noise (including singing, music, radio equipment, etc.) that is audible from another residential property more than 50 feet from the source.
“I’m really happy you guys are bringing it up,” said Joe McDevitt, president of Woodcrest Shores Community Association, an HOA.
As previously reported, community members are not only concerned about their neighbors being loud. They are also concerned with businesses like bars and venues playing loud music.
MeDevitt supported a more strict noise ordinance, calling for higher fines than the ones in the bill.
“The people who live down on the water can’t hear themselves talk,” McDevitt said.
Despite this, the fines stayed, as amended, at $50, $100 and $300 for the first, second and third violations, respectively. There is no restriction on daytime noise.
The bill, which was approved unanimously with three amendments, will go into effect 60 days after it is enacted. Cecil County Executive Danielle Hornbeger has 10 day from the council meeting to approve or disapprove the bill. Barring disapproval, the bill will become enacted either when the county executive approves it or if she chooses to take no action for 10 days.
The bill’s regulations do not apply to noise from government operations or public service company operations.
As far as enforcement, there is no decibel limit or threshold. Law enforcement officers will be tasked with enforcing the new law.
Solar farm discussion
One bill regarding solar farms in Cecil County was up for public discussion Tuesday night. Five people spoke in favor of the bill that changes the zoning ordinance for solar farms in Cecil County.
The bill would add changes to the county’s zoning ordinance, making it easier for community-based solar farms to be erected.
It defines basic terms including community-based solar, which is a solar power sharing system in which members own shares.
The bill also states that solar facilities must be approved by the Department of Land Use and Development services, must be 300 feet from the edge of pavement or road right of way, and that they should be located 300 feet from dwellings on adjoining properties, to name a few requirements.
“I speak for a lot of our neighbors who are too old to come here tonight,” said Elke Binder of Conowingo in support of the legislation. “Most of them are over 80 years old and they are also in favor of this legislation.”
The bill regarding solar farming will be up for final consideration by the County Council on Oct. 19.