HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Henrico County is poised to adopt new rules on daytime racket, in the first update to the county’s noise ordinance since 2014.
At a work session on Tuesday, July 26, county officials presented the proposal to the board of supervisors, which would extend an existing ordinance limiting residential noise at night to cover daytime hours as well.
“Growth in population and housing density in the county has increased in the years since the ordinance was last updated,” a police official said. She added that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a “marked increase in complaints for excessive noise” — possibly due to an increase in residents working from home.
Currently, noise sources such as TVs and speakers are only regulated during nighttime hours. The new proposal would extend the current ban on noises that are “plainly audible in someone else’s dwelling” to all hours of the day.
The rules only apply to noises from residential areas produced by things like TVs and speakers. Dogs, commercial activity and just plain yelling are all covered under separate, existing ordinances.
Following the presentation by police, one board member raised concerns that the change could lead to a spike in noise complaints and citations, especially as more Henrico residents find themselves living close to one another in multifamily apartments and townhomes.
“With the proximity of people living closer, is this going to help or create more calls?”
The police official responded that an officer would have to personally witness the violation for a citation to be issued. She added that the police department always tries to get “voluntary compliance” from residents before issuing any citations.
“Last year we only issued one summons to a homeowner for a loud party,” she said.
Board members agreed to take up the proposal at their August 19 meeting, where residents will be able to provide public comment on the ordinance.