Reg would limit time for chimes
June 12, 2008 · Updated 10:27 AM
"A committee of the Port Orchard City Council is examining a draft of a new public disturbance and noise ordinance that at least one council member says should limit the hours of the Port Orchard City Hall chimes to the hours that City Hall is open for business. Councilman Rick Wyatt, who serves with two other members on the council's Public Safety Committee, said he's concerned about some members of the community who live next to City Hall and need their sleep, something he said the chimes may interfere with. The proposed ordinance exempts the chimes during the hours they currently sound - in the summer from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. during weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. From Labor Day to May 1, the chimes are limited to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends. Wyatt, however, said he would like the ordinance to limit the chimes' hours of operation to City Hall business hours, which currently are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. I know that it's a very touchy topic, but I'm a very firm believer that the ordinance should not exempt the City Hall chimes, he said. I think they're wonderful, but people who live close to City Hall are affected, and that part of the ordinance needs to be cleaned up a little bit.Wyatt said he would like to see the ordinance allow expanded operation of the chimes for special holiday events, but on a case-by-case basis. I don't have a problem with that, he said.Wyatt also questions the part of the draft ordinance prohibiting frequent, repetitive or continuous noise made by animals, except for police dogs or animals housed in facilities such as animal shelters or veterinary clinics.I'm concerned that the police department has more important things to do than respond to complaints from citizens about loud animals, he said, suggesting that groups like the Kitsap Humane Society could handle such problems. Another section Wyatt has concerns about is that which exempts noises created by organized sporting events held at Givens Park. Sporting events held at all other parks should be exempt, too, he said. Tom Stansbery, who chairs the Public Safety Committee, said several business owners who are involved in producing live music shows are concerned about part of the draft ordinance that prohibits singing near public streets after 11 p.m. Council members are trying to determine whether exemptions for this kind of activity should be dealt with administratively or by issuing conditional-use permits, Stansbery said. We try to be business-friendly, and music's one of the things that bring business to the city, he said. Something the draft ordinance does away with entirely is the previous law's prohibition against pedestrian interference, which targets aggressive begging or panhandling.We don't have a problem with that here, Stansbery said. In the 13 to 14 years I've been here, I was approached only once by a kid who needed 25 cents for a phone call. You don't want to write an ordinance that doesn't pertain to anything.The Port Orchard City Council has placed the proposed public noise and nuisance ordinance on the agenda for its next meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday at Port Orchard City Hall. "