Beaver Dam City Attorney Maryann Schacht told the city’s Administrative Committee that drafting a new noise ordinance isn’t going to be easy, but she is continuing her research.
“I’m still working on it and I will continue to work on it,” she said.
Last month, Schacht circulated a survey to the police department, city council members and city taverns about possible changes to city noise regulations. She said 13 people responded, and asked more people to respond and added she might circulate another survey in the future.
Some people suggested different ways to measure noise such as decibel levels or distance from the origin of the sound. One person responded in a survey saying that music should never be played loud enough so that the public can hear it, even if the noise originates indoors.
City Council Member Ken Anderson asked about possibly linking the noise restrictions to permits for block parties and festivals.
Moving forward, Schacht said there isn’t a clear path and that other city attorneys have told her that a noise ordinance is difficult to enforce.
The Administrative Committee “asked me to do this, so we’re going to draft something,” she said.
Late in the summer, more than 15 residents attended an Administrative Committee meeting to complain about what they say is excessive noise from the Thirsty Beaver tavern, 500 Madison St., Lake Days festival, Jam by the Dam concert series and vehicles in the city.
One of the common complaints about the existing ordinance was that it’s too vague.
In 2014, an ordinance amendment that would restrict taverns from hosting or playing loud music outside after 11 p.m. was tabled after tavern owners and a musician vocally opposed it. It was never brought back to the council.