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Council Passes Updated Noise Ordinance

The cutoff time for amplified sound is now officially 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. seven days a week.

Despite a strong turnout Tuesday by residents seeking a later time limit for Beverly Hills' noise ordinance, the City Council unanimously agreed to establish 10 p.m. seven days a week as the cutoff time for amplified sound. 

Residents can turn up the volume again starting at 8 a.m. Still, unreasonable levels of sound or noise is not permitted any time of the day. 

Before this municipal code adjustment, the city's  contained "inconsistent provisions governing amplified sound and required police to use decibel readers in order to enforce certain provisions of the regulations, which the police department indicated was impractical in many instances," according to a city statement. 

Up to now Beverly Hills' long-standing amplified sound rules set 6 p.m., seven days a week, as the cutoff time. However, some noise was permitted until 10 p.m. and the prior practice was for officers to implement sound checks starting at 10 p.m.

Fines associated with violating the noise ordinance were not increased, and will continue to be issued according to the discretion of police officers, who often choose to shut the music and party down rather than write a ticket.

Citations will remain at $106.90 for the first one, $214.10 for the second and $535.10 thereafter, said James Latta, human services administrator and city staff liaison to the .

“This has been a very difficult and emotional issue for the community,” Mayor Barry Brucker said. “After hearing hours of comments from the public and from police officers about enforcement, we did what we could to clarify and update the ordinance. But ... real harmony can only be achieved by a positive dialogue and better understanding between neighbors.”

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Barry Brucker September 23, 2011 at 06:52 PM
To better clarify the noise ordinance that was passed note the following: 1. The City had two competing ordinances on the books 5-1-205 which restricted amplified noise after 6pm and 5-1-201 which restricted amplified noise after 10pm. 2. Citizens were NOT aware of the 6pm ordinance until this matter surfaced several months ago AND the Police were only enforcing the 10pm ordinance. The challenge and need to clean up these two competing ordinances was triggered by the awareness of the 6pm restriction (5-1-205) and the potential flood of calls to the BHPD to enforce an unreasonable law. What the Council passed was a clean up of both ordinances and set the times prohibiting outside amplified noise between the hours of 10pm - 8am. It is also important to note that the law continues to provide an additional ordinance (5-1-104) disturbance of the peace (nuisance ordinance) that can be enforced 24/7 to protect the community from unreasonable noises which encompass both amplified and non-amplified sound. This clarification and clean up of our noise ordinance will protect the neighborhood quality of life expectation while also allowing for respectful and responsible social gatherings. Barry Brucker, Mayor

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