Silver Spring

Montgomery County to enforce noise ordinance in downtown Silver Spring

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Montgomery County plans to crack down on noise in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, enforcing a noise control law following complaints.

New signs were posted around Veterans Plaza about the rules already on the books.

“The sound has gotten, the best way to describe it is oppressive, at times,” Montgomery County Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Earl Stoddard said. “Maximum volume on speakers; yelling into the microphone.”

Officials say they want to restore peace and tranquility to the area while still encouraging entertainment that creates the character there — but within a reasonable volume.

“It’s like speeding,” Stoddard. “We’re not looking for the speeders going 66 in a 65-mile-an-hour zone; we’re looking for the person whose flying at 90, 100, 110.”

Volumes will need to be lowered after 9 p.m. County leaders say if people are making excessive noise with an amplifier, they’ll be asked to turn it down.

Enforcement of the posted rules begins next month. Flyers in English and Spanish will be passed out, and crews will use a sound-measuring device to monitor the noise level and gather data to assess the issue.

Violators could face a fine of $750.

The county will hand out flyers in English and Spanish, and a sound measuring device will be used to monitor the noise level and gather data on how bad the problem really is.

“It’s not like we come out here with bad intentions,” musician KC Lewsey said. “We come out here, we try to share what we’re passionate, what we love … with everyone that kind of can relate … I feel like music is a way to connect people.”

He hopes he’ll be able to continue playing music there as Montgomery County begins to enforce its noise ordinance.

“We’re playing for the people,” Lewsey said. “We’re playing for the community.”

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