Last post I made mention of the "new" County Noise Ordinance. This is becoming a local hot bed subject. With the continuing urbanization of Western North Carolina we are increasingly finding hot bed subjects of a similar nature. Zoning, annexing, incorporating, property tax increases, ordinances upon ordinances pressing into every day life.
The county adopted...A dubious term...A Noise Ordinance in 1983. To my knowledge it was not too strict. It's not been an issue with me, I don't throw wild parties, or anything. But, it was in place in order to promote some peace. Though one Commissioner called it "vague".
Before I returned from over seas an issue was stirring over a Motor Cross Track along the River in Cherryfeild. This said track is owned by a local Restaurant Owner, Mike Baxley. After going through the usual loops and hoops, he got the green light to build his track. Noise from Motor Cross Bikes was a concern from the very beginning, despite that Hwy 64 is only a couple of hundred yards away with loud Street Bikes and vehicles with modified mufflers are roaring in both directions. The revised Ordinance clearly targeted this track. I was present in the Courthouse when Commissioner Daryl Hogsed stated that the track was already in violation of the older version of the ordinance, after he had been quoted in saying that it was too vague.
About the middle of July the Commissioners passed a "revised" ordinance. It was "stricter" and opposed from it's conception because it was broader. The way it is written, “which is substantially incompatible with the time and location where created to the extent that it creates an actual or imminent interference with peace and good order."
And, “perceived by a person of ordinary firmness and sensibilities as interrupting the normal peace and calm of the area, neighborhood or vicinity.”
is written in a vague form in itself. Basically, who ever calls the Sheriff the most and whines can get what they want. Some of you reading this will not like me saying it, but, we have a society where who throws the biggest sissy fit wins. Someone will give in to hush them up. With a Deputy being the on spot deciding individual, enforcing an ordinance that is vague to all but the Commissioners that voted for it, we cannot expect them to be exempt from appeasing the offended. This is not cut and dry like Traffic Law*.
The Commissioners won't ad mitt it, but the noisiest place in the county is Hwy 64. It runs right across the county, through Brevard and passed Rosman. It has trucks of all sizes, "street rods", motorcycles and bad mufflers. The sound carries up onto the Mountains above the outskirts of town. They can be heard for miles at times and can be heard travelling some distance. I've walked through down town Brevard and had to raise my voice on account of motor cycle riders at a red light. Yes, it was annoying. But, they are exempt. It's unreasonable to have a ordinance on someone passing strait through on a State and Federally Funded road. Firearms are not exempt on the privacy and safety of Private Property.
A great deal of the "Local Core", natives, tend to point at the new comers to the County**. Allot of these folks have brought Suburban attitudes along with them, no doubt. Yet, the Commissioners that passed this ordinance are from here. It's almost understandable if they had come in from some large metropolitan city...But Brevard?
Men that grew up in a place where people have live stock, collections of dogs, shoot firearms and seek other forms of pass time that may make a little noise on their own domain? It seems there was no regard that someone may be causing no harm other than the ears of one person.
A petition was passed around against the Ordinance. At meeting of the commissioners it was handed to them with 4,600 signatures, possibly the largest in the Counties history. This seemed to matter little to the three that voted for it. Property rights has been the central argument against the ordinance, yet, one Commissioner, David Guice was quoted as saying the Opponents of the Ordinance's arguments didn't "make sense". I dare say, a pious stance. I watched the Commissioners get a tongue lashing in between pleas of logic. No one spoke in favor of the Ordinance. People were clearly angry, and on nearly lost his temper, prompting Deputies to stand between us and the Commissioners.Now people are lining up to run for Commissioner.
You reap what you sew. In trying to maintain the good order, normal peace and calm of the area, all they have accomplished is to disturb it.
* Mainly in my Military experience, I've learned a vague regulation to be enforced is often a bad spot to put someone in.
** Often this is the retiree/ upscale suburbanites being refereed to, but the biggest new comer any more are poor Latin Americans seeking labor.