Langley adopts new noise law

Langley has a new law on the books, a “common-sense” approach regulating noise-makers from music to fireworks to lawnmowers.

The Langley City Council approved the long-awaited ordinance at its meeting Monday night. It will go into effect before the end of the month.

The council was pressed into addressing the issue to try to establish harmony between some merchants and other supporters of the city’s festival and tourist atmosphere, and downtown residents who wanted to keep the noise down.

The law, replacing one on the books since 1987, sets hours during which specific noise producers such as vehicles, audio equipment, voices and musical instruments can sound off.

Among the exemptions would be live amplified and non-amplified sounds from outdoor venues in the downtown business district between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Amplified sounds, however, would need to comply with permits issued by the city, county or a state agency.

“It’s a tool for us to use,” said Police Chief Bob Herzberg, who with Finance Director Debbie Mahler designed the new law after consulting those of more than 30 other communities.

“It’s to show people there really are laws here, so let’s get along,” Herzberg said. “Now we can explain in clear terms what the deal is.”

Councilman Bob Waterman offered a novel suggestion about how to deal with future noise complaints.

“We’ll send out our deafest council member,” he joked.

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