OCEAN CITY – The city warns enforcement will be made as progress is made to pass a redefined ordinance against unreasonable loud noise on the Boardwalk.
Following a discussion during last week’s Mayor and City Council work session regarding noise issues on the Boardwalk, more specifically a handful of businesses blaring music, an ordinance was drafted to place volume restrictions on noise emanating from public ways.
Acting City Manager/Mayor Rick Meehan said that the ordinance defines the issue and how it will be enforced.
“It is the first step in trying to make sure that businesses understand that it is a problem, it is something that has been complained about, and we are going to enforce it and take fair and appropriate action,” he said.
The ordinance defines the issue as sound amplification directed toward the beach, Boardwalk, streets or other public way at any time to be plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet from the source of the sound and deemed unreasonably loud as to disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of other persons.
“What that means is if you are walking down the Boardwalk and from 50 feet away you can hear the sound coming out from one of the businesses than they need to turn the music down and that can be enforced and will be enforced by the Ocean City Police Department,” Meehan said.
Councilwoman Margaret Pillas questioned if 50 feet was good enough. She pointed out that the benches positioned on the opposite side of the Boardwalk are less than 50 feet away as well as a business’s neighbors.
Police Captain Kevin Kirstein agreed and had already looked into decreasing the measurement. Working with Planning and Community Development Director Jesse Houston, a consensus was reached that 30 feet would be a better fit.
According to Kirstein, 50 feet is roughly the width of two and half stores. By minimizing the regulation down to 30 feet, that would be the distance of about one store, and will also cover the width of the Boardwalk, which ranges from 33 to 30 feet.
“We certainly would support the 30 feet as well, perhaps 50 feet in this zone is too far,” Kirstein said.
The ordinance was passed in a unanimous vote towards its final step in second reading, and amended to allow enforcement to be made if sound is heard within 30 feet instead of 50.