Late-night parties, amplified band practices, less-thansober karaoke and trucking companies operating out of neighborhoods — all different types of noise inspired East Valley residents to support a noise ordinance in Pinal County.
The Pinal County Board of Supervisors listened on Wednesday and unanimously approved the county’s first ordinance against excessive noise. More than 40 people, mostly residents of areas near Queen Creek, traveled to Florence to show their support for the ordinance. Several spoke before the board.
The ordinance applies only to unincorporated areas of the county, and sets different allowable decibel levels for days and nights in residential, commercial and industrial areas. It is similar to noise ordinances in Mesa and Cave Creek, said Seymour Gruber, the county attorney who drafted the ordinance.
Supervisor Sandie Smith said she did receive some emails in opposition to the ordinance. Most of those opposed were concerned that it was designed to target San Tan Flat, a saloon in the area that some residents have complained is too noisy.
But Smith said growth made the need for an ordinance a reality.
“I think it’s directly related to the fact that we have folks living closer together now,” Smith said. “We’re not as rural. Even though we say we’re rural, and we believe it in our hearts, we have urban pockets.”
Resident Anne Reed said her neighborhood is blighted by loud parties and garageband practices with vulgar conversations carried out on microphones. She brought signatures from 18 neighbors who also supported the ordinance.
“Our lives and lifestyles have been dictated by these party animals,” she said.
Reed said calls to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office have been unsuccessful because deputies have had no authority to issue citations for excessive noise.
Violating the new ordinance can mean being charged criminally with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, and a civil fine of up to $750 per day for as long as the noise continues to be a public nuisance. The county can enforce the ordinance after it goes into effect 30 days from Wednesday.