Beer licenses could be yanked for noise
Kingston City Council members hope they’ve solved an ongoing noise problem with an ordinance change that will allow officials to punish noise offenders where it hurts.
Council passed on second reading Nov. 11 a measure that links the city’s noise ordinance with its beer ordinance.
What it means is that noisy nightspots will have to turn the volume down when the peace of neighboring residents is threatened or else face more serious sanctions.
The ordinance change relates to a problem that has been brewing since 2012, when residents in the vicinity of West Race Street complained that a couple of area restaurants were keeping them up at nights with loud patio music during warm spring and summer months.
Council made adjustments to the city noise ordinance then, implementing a policy that set specific decibel limits during different hours of the day, with limits set lower during nighttime hours throughout the weekdays.
Fines were instituted to give the ordinance teeth.
It didn’t work.
“The way it was written, (the establishments) could just keep paying $50 fines whenever they got charged with noise,” said Councilman Don White, who is also a resident of that neighborhood.
So when area residents came back to council this past summer, city officials went back to the drawing board.
The new ordinance will mean that noise offenders face a beer license suspension or other, related penalties upon repeat violations.
“The residents were glad to get some teeth in the ordinance,” White said. “Now if they continue to be a nuisance, we can challenge their beer license.”
In other November business, council passed a resolution abolishing the Fort Southwest Point Commission. The commission’s function will be folded into those of other city boards.