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Opening Arguments

Godawful noise

They made a joyful noise in Crown Point, but they got carried away a little on the "noise" part:

Neighbors complained about the loud music emanating from the revival tent in the church's parking lot. City officials, who had issued a permit for the tent, intervened at a Board of Public Works and Safety meeting on Monday night.

The events must take place inside the church building Mondays through Thursdays, and noise must not exceed 40 decibels during outdoor events. Police registered noise at 85 decibels prior to Monday. 

Crown Point resident Patsy Staub, who attended Monday's meeting, said she was kind of disappointed with the decision, but it was understandable.

"We want to be at peace with the community," Staub said. "It kind of feels like we're being told how to worship."

No, just how loudly. If I can't get to sleep, it doesn't matter much whether it's because of fireworks, motorcycles, booming rap music or a raucous church service. And I'm pretty sure God will be able to hear the service, even if it's below 40 decibels. If he can't, maybe there's some rethinking to do.

Posted in: All about me


Bob G.
Wed, 08/20/2008 - 10:36am

People (any people) that "feel the need to share" whatever NOISE they are making DO get carried away....just NOT often enough and NOT by the ones we pay TO carry them away.
Just Another Useless Ordinance.
Been there, STILL hearing that.


Harl Delos
Wed, 08/20/2008 - 10:45am

We used to listen to the band play at halftime during high school football games - and we lived two miles away. It interfered with conversation outdoors, but that wasn't really much of a problem. We usually went inside about that time, anyway.

The Lancaster Barnstormers didn't exist when we bought this house - and they established a habit of setting off fireworks at the end of each game, win or lose. Our prior dog was scared of thunder, and we had to deal with 130 pounds of terrorized dog and with urine on the floor, every time they played. Not fun.

And the local motorcycle gang loves to go racing down our street at 3 AM on their unmuffled hawgs. Their clubhouse is only a block away. Even less fun.

However, a sound level of 40 dBA isn't reasonable. A level of 85 dBA isn't reasonable either, but 85 dBA is 31652 times as much sound energy as 40 dBA. Decibels are a logarithmic scale, so a difference of 3.010 decibels means twice as loud.

Here's how the numbers correspond to common sounds:
10dBA - Normal Breathing
20dBA - Rustling Leaves
30dBA - A Whisper
40dBA - A Refrigerator
50dBA - Normal Conversation
60dBA - Laugher
70dBA - A Hairdryer
80dBA - A Garbage Disposal
90dBA - A Lawnmower

Evansville just passed an ordinance limiting late night noise in downtown to 75 dBA. Albuquerque sets a 50 dBA level at the property line. Placer, California says 55 dBA. Olympia says 65 dBA between 7 AM and 10 PM. (How did I choose these communities? They popped to the top in a Google search.)

Having a noise ordinance makes sense, provided it's uniformly enforced; ordinances that don't get enforced are invitations to mischief and abuse.

A level of 60 or 65 dBA or so would allow churchgoers to be enthusiastic without intruding excessively on the neighbors.

Bob G.
Wed, 08/20/2008 - 1:33pm

..."Having a noise ordinance makes sense, provided it