Loud music from vehicles a chief noise complaint in Chino
During recent council meetings, town officials have discussed noise regulation violations in connection with public complaints, as well as potential zoning regulation changes.
Council members voted to review the existing regulations for possible adjustment and or revision, in order to assist the Chino Valley Police Department to deal with violations.
"One of the most common complaints that citizens bring to my attention are loud stereos coming from vehicles. Unfortunately, by the time an officer is dispatched to the area, the vehicle is long gone," said CVPD Commander Mark Garcia.
Garcia reminds the public that violations to the town code may result in substantial fines.
Penalties for violating noise regulations range from a civil violation to a Class 1 misdemeanor, with fines beginning at $100 up to $1,000.
But what constitutes a violation of regulations?
Town Code Title XIII, chapter 131 states that it is unlawful to play, operate or use any sound amplification system which:
Can be heard from a distance of 50 feet or more; or
Annoys or disturbs the quiet, comfort or repose of any person in the vicinity.
The code also outlines specifics regarding motor vehicle operation (muffler systems, stereos, jake brakes) and hours of restriction (between midnight and 5 a.m. for most offenses).
The code further states violation occurs when noise is "excessive, loud or unusual...regardless of the instrument, device or other source." Council members and the public have questioned what determines "excessive, loud or unusual."
Garcia said that common sense and courtesy play a major role.
"Often times we find that when we are called out to investigate a complaint, we find that the person creating the noise didn't realize the distance noise travels, they lost track of time, or weren't even aware Chino Valley had noise regulations."
Garcia added that police handle the majority of complaints without citation.
"We try and avoid confrontation with education. A little common sense and courtesy will avoid a lot of problems," he said.
A complete listing of town regulations and codes is available online at www.chinoaz.net/clerk/towncode or by contacting the town at 928-636-2646 Monday through Thursday during normal business hours.