LAYTON The city is pretty quiet these days, with the cessation recently of train horns at all crossings. However, Layton should become even more peaceful in the future, as the City Council has now approved amendments to its disturbing-the-peace ordinance.
Effective immediately, these amendments to "Ordinance 08-20" will make it easier for the police to respond to complaints regarding noisy neighbors or booming automobile sound systems.
The revised ordinance states that it is unlawful for a person to operate a radio receiver, tape player, disc player, television, musical instrument, machine, instrument or device for the production or reproduction of sound, between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. "in a way that it is plainly audible at the immediate property boundary or the exterior wall or structure which constitutes the boundary of a premises."
The revised ordinance also states that on public property, or on a public right-of-way during any hours of the day, the sound cannot be plainly audible 50 feet or more from the device.
Permits may be issued for special events or holiday parties to be temporarily exempt from the 50-foot rule.
According to Layton Police Chief Terry M. Keefe, the 50-foot rule also targets the sound and vibrations from audio systems in cars or trucks that are just booming.
"This just gives us some definite regulations," Keefe said. "It will actually allow us to go out and do something now."
He said police won't use any special devices to measure violators, other than applying the 50 feet distance or the property lines.
Layton City Attorney Gary Crane said the revised ordinance also added wording that targets people who use profanity to provoke a fight or conflict.
The ordinance states that a person cannot use "language reasonably construed to incite or provoke violent behavior, or language inviting violent behavior by indecent or disorderly conduct, or by lewd or lascivious behavior or otherwise."
Crane said this clarifies that a person isn't cited for using profanity but rather when they use it to incite violence.
City Councilman Renny Knowlton wondered about vehicles that are loud because they have no muffler. Keefe said that this noise violation is covered separately under vehicle regulations.
Crane said these Layton ordinance changes are very similar to amendments other Utah cities have already made.Police responding to complaints may simply ask violators to turn down the sound. However, if someone is cited, it is a class B misdemeanor.