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Clarksville moves ahead with noise ordinance / May 15, 2013
Clarksville Town Council will move forward with plans to enact a noise ordinance for the town following a discussion of the issue in a work session this week.

The draft ordinance, distributed to Council members by Town Manager Jeff Jones, limits noise from eight activities including: trash and recycling collection, street cleaning and construction, peddlers and hawkers, from inside a vehicle, from lawn care activities, at social gatherings, by noisy animals and “from sound producing and sound re-producing devices.”

The penalty for violating the noise ordinance starts at $100 and climbs to a $500 fine per day, for each day the violation continues unabated.

Most of the noise restrictions do not apply during the daylight hours, except for noisy animals. A violation occurs, regardless of the time of day, if the animal makes any sound or noise that is plainly audible inside another person’s home or at least 75 feet from the location of the animal, and if the noise is unabated for at least ten minutes.

Council attempted to protect downtown businesses and events that offer outdoor entertainment during the warmer months. Parades and fireworks displays, school-related activities and other public events are exempted from the ordinance, as are political gatherings.

Two other types of events receive a limited exemption under the ordinance. One involves outdoor music or sound producing events that take place between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday, or 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, if they are in the areas zoned for commercial use along Virginia Avenue between Second Street and Highway 15 South. Also exempt is music from any instrument, record, tape, CD or other device if it emanates from the Clarksville Community Center between the hours of 8:00 .m. and 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, or 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Town Council also considered steps to prevent future destruction at the Clarksville Community Center similar to that which took place during a recent episode at the facility. Carolyn Hite suggested the town should require renters to supply the names of three references. Mayor Kevin Allgood felt that stipulation was too stringent. Instead, members appeared to settle on a set of provisions that allow police to enter and inspect the premises at any time, with or without cause, and added a section to the contract giving the town or the police the right to force renters to vacate the premises if they are destroying the property, engaging in illegal activity, or violating the noise ordinance.

Jones shared good news regarding the recently-completed gutter and sewer repairs along Ninth Street: “Even with the large amount of rain we had this past week, the flooding to the yards has significantly diminished,” he said. In fact, only one trouble spot occurred from the rain, and it was alleviated once debris was cleared from the drainage grates on Virginia Avenue.

Avenue Florist and Gino’s suffered some minor flooding when water poured into their buildings because of clogged drains, Jones said. “Richard [Elliott, the Town Operations Manager] and his staff cleared the drains and the water from the buildings very quickly.”

Finally, Jones announced that Sgt. Bobby Boring will be handling the duties of Clarksville Police Chief Ricky Wilkinson, who is out on medical leave after breaking his leg while chasing a juvenile. He also announced that the downtown pocket park would soon become a grassy knoll until the Clarksville IDA decides what will be the best use for the site.

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