November 4, 2022

Virginia Beach Seeks Stakeholder Input on Proposed Changes to Noise Ordinance Following Resident Feedback

​In September, Virginia Beach City Council invited residents to submit their recommended edits to proposed changes in the City's noise ordinance (Noise Ordinance Second Round). Council Members John Moss and Guy Tower, along with City staff, have reviewed the edits and comments received and prepared a reconciled proposed ordinance, as well as a spreadsheet detailing the recommended changes, specific concerns, and/or questions.

Residents and other stakeholders are invited to now provide their comments on the reconciled document. Survey participants may provide feedback in one of two ways:

  • Visit and open the PDF versions of the proposed ordinance and spreadsheet and provide comments in the comment box.
  • For those who do not have access to a computer or are otherwise unable to complete the survey online, call Nancy Bloom at 757-385-6279 and request that paper copies be mailed to you.

The survey will remain open until midnight on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022.

Additionally, there will be two public listening sessions on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at Princess Anne High School. City Attorney Mark Stiles will provide a presentation regarding the comments and requested changes received. Residents will have an opportunity to provide input on the reconciled proposed ordinance to Council Members Moss and Tower. Those meetings will take place:

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022
First Meeting: 3:30-5 p.m.
Second Meeting: 6:30-8 p.m.
Princess Anne High School Auditorium, 4400 Virginia Beach Blvd.

About the Proposed Changes

The proposed changes to the noise ordinance would streamline enforcement with reduced reliance on specialized sound meter equipment. In addition, the proposed ordinance would establish a hybrid penalty structure, imposing civil penalties for some violations while preserving criminal penalties for repeat or severe violations.

A key change in the proposed noise ordinance is the addition of a "plainly audible" standard, where certain sounds that are plainly audible inside an individual's home or beyond a specified distance from its source would constitute violations. Sound is plainly audible if it can be heard by the human ear with or without a medically approved hearing aid or device. A violation of the plainly audible standard would result in a civil violation punishable by a fine of $250 for a first offense. Excessive noise as determined by decibel readings will continue to be a violation under the proposed ordinance and may result in misdemeanor charges.


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